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Full text of "Some thoughts concerning domestic slavery : in a letter to , esq. of Baltimore"

S. G. & E. L. ELBERT 



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SOME THOUGHTS 



CONCERNING 



DOMESTIC SLAVERY, 



IN A LETTER 



To , Esq. of Baltimore. 



BY JOHN L. CAREY 



SecoivD IBtittton- 



BALTIMORE: 
D. BRUNNER, 1 N. CHARLES STREET. 



1839. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries 



http://archive.org/details/somethoughtsconc1839care 



SOME THOUGHTS 



CONCERNING 



DOMESTIC SLAVERY, 

IN A LETTER 

To , Esq. of Baltimore. 



My Dear Sir : 

Concerning the subject of domestic 
slavery, which has often formed matter of con- 
versation between us, I have determined to write 
you my thoughts somewhat at length. For I have 
meditated much upon it since I saw you last; and 
now that we can no longer meet at pleasure, as we 
were wont, to interchange discourse, my reflections 
have accumulated upon me to such a degree that 
no means of setting them forth would perhaps be 
so suitable as this: to say nothing of my own dis- 
position, which inclines me rather to writing than 
to talking. 

I have read Dr. Channing's book, which you 

were so kind as to send me. Shall I preface the 
2 



expressions of my disappointment by empty com- 
pliments to a skilful writer's abilities 'I Alas I 
there is little to commend in the greatest abilities 
if they appear to be employed in giving attractive 
forms to error. There are many noble maxims 
and well-expressed sentiments scattered through- 
out the book ; if these were collected together and 
printed in the form of apothegms they would 
appear to good advantage ; but now they seem 
like jewels adorning a dead man's head, giving 
decoration to that, which, seen in its nakedness, 
would be revolting to the sight. 

This author, it appears to me, has fallen into 
the common error of those who give themselves 
up to the contemplation of abstract maxims, and 
take not into view the blended nature of our 
humanity, which being made of spirit and body 
is enabled to receive truths only in a correspond- 
ing manner; that is to say, not nakedly spiritual, 
such as abstract truths are, but truths embodied in 
the elements of things, circumstances, conditions. 
Concerning Rights, in particular, I have something 
to say ; for upon this subject Dr. Channing has 
thrown together an unusual quantity of general 
principles, after the usual manner of those who 
delight in speculation. We talk of the rights of 
man, of natural rights, of inalienable rights. What 
do we mean ? If an attempt is made to come down 
to particulars, and to specify what are these natu- 



ral and inalienable rights, each in its turn eludes 
the grasp; some other general phrase is made 
in a loose way to sum up the gross. Or a more 
common method is to take a civilized man, and 
after considering the various rights which are 
indisputably his, other persons are then contrasted 
with him; and all are supposed to be suffering 
wrong who are deprived of any rights which he 
is acknowledged to possess. In this way it may 
happen that one's well-intended indignation against 
oppression, or what he deems such, shall be in 
proportion to his own elevation above others of 
his less fortunate fellows. In this view we need 
not wonder that Dr. Channing feels, as he writes, 
with much earnestness; for who doubts his great 
abilities ? 

But with regard to natural rights it appears to 
me that man is more poorly provided than the 
brutes. For the inferior animals have a natural 
right to food and drink, which are supplied ready 
at their need : whereas man, especially, in this 
climate, has a right to sustenance only on con- 
dition of labouring for it. The right to the com- 
mon air is the only right, that I know of, which 
man possesses by nature; and this is his on such 
tenure, not only because respiration is so conjoined 
with animal life that the latter cannot exist with- 
out it, even for a few moments, but mainly 
because air for breathing is not the product of 



human labour 3 it is not subject to degrees of 
abundance and of scarcity ; it cannot be laid up 
for future use ; it is not subject to our control in 
the way of exercising industry, perseverance or 
foresight. Yet even this right, which is essential 
to the physical organization, is not I presume 
inalienable, for it may be forfeited along with 
life itself; as we see does happen continually in 
states where criminals are put to death by the laws 
of the land, which were wilfully violated in full 
view of the penalty thereof. 

Yet is not man herein the less favoured. If 
rights are not granted to him unconditionally as 
inherent and absolute, it is that he has the nobler 
prerogative of acquiring them for himself. If they 
are made to depend upon the proper exercise of 
his own powers it is because in such exercise con- 
sists his real glory : because thereby he attains to 
the excellence of his nature, to usefulness and 
true happiness. 

The phrases, rights of man, natural rights, and 
the like, are therefore very ambiguous terms, 
which it is unsafe to bottom general reasonings 
on. For as rights are conditional, the proper 
measure of them is to be found in the character of 
the man. To the possession of every right is 
annexed the performance of a corresponding duty, 
as the tenure by which it is held. This perfor- 
mance ceasing, the right fails. It is not that cer- 



tain rights are attached to certain duties by way 
of recompense,, for the sake of which a man is 
called upon to perform the duties, but in the 
nature of things this connection exists. To per- 
form duties is to do good, which implies moral 
power; moral power then if you prefer it, may be 
called the parent of rights. I do not use this term 
in the general sense in which it is sometimes taken 
to denote mere mental superiority in distinction 
from physical force ; for it often happens that this 
kind of power is coupled with selfish purposes, 
and the respect which it exacts is tinctured with 
servility. But the true idea of moral power is 
made up of intellectual ability blended with real 
goodness, which inspires confidence and love. 

The human mind can be developed, not in its 
naked spirituality, but by being conjoined with cer- 
tain elements of the natural and moral world in 
which we live. These afford substantial materials 
whereby its operations find subsistence and per- 
manence. By its union with natural elements, 
gaining mastery over the same according to the 
established laws of nature, are produced the arts ; 
whether of ingenuity, of skill or of taste. By 
means of facts drawn from experience, by obser- 
vation upon human life, by knowledge of men 
in their various modes of action, maxims of moral 
government are derived which take the form of 
laws or of philosophical truths. Whatever the 
2* 



10 

active spirit of man thus combines with itself 
becomes in some measure, a part of him,, and he 
has right over it. But all such exercises of the 
human faculties (the same being developments of 
moral power as I have defined it) are made for 
purposes of good or usefulness, either general or 
individual, or more properly both. For both blend 
together in the harmony of good deeds. Such 
exercises are therefore called duties — hence the 
connection between duties and rights. There is 
nothing of exaction or of oppression in one man's 
possessing rights more extensive than those of 
another, for they are awarded to him almost in- 
stinctively. The principle upon which a person 
refrains from violating the estate of his neighbour 
is of a kindred nature with that which prompts one 
to pay respect to a good and great man, venerable 
by age and still more august by reason of a life of 
honourable services. 

There is no prescribing limits to human rights. 
For they enlarge in proportion as new relations 
arise ; and new relations arise in proportion to the 
development and exercise of moral power. How 
plainly may this be seen in the simple illustration 
which the lowest kind of labour affords ! A man 
acquires a right to land, supposing the same to 
have been before common, by improving it; or 
rather by imparting to it all of value that it may 
possess, which being derived from himself, re- 



11 

mains still his own peculium. He whose industry 
and skill hare thus appropriated a hundred acres,, 
possesses rights a hundred fold greater than are 
his whose indolence reposes lazily upon one. 
Throughout the whole range of man's relations, 
individual, social or civil, where knowledge is 
employed for purposes of good, rights of conse- 
quence arise which are universally reverenced by 
the spontaneous acknowledgment of all hearts 
that are human. Let it be remembered that the 
existence of rights does not depend upon the exis- 
tence of a tribunal to pronounce them such; nor 
upon the possession of force which is sometimes 
necessary to make them respected. For tribunals 
themselves, and the force which executes their 
decrees derive all their legitimate authority from 
rights that existed before. They are the conse- 
quences not the causes of rights, and are rendered 
necessary in the world by reason of the evil that 
yet abounds among men, which if left to work ils 
purposes would swallow up all rights. 

A man of enlightened mind who has acquired 
self-control by means of knowledge and virtue ; 
who has come to know the laws of nature and the 
principles of the moral world ; who has received 
sublime truths in his understanding which his life 
has embodied in noble actions for the good of the 
human race ; a man of this character, bearing the 
image of God in the aspect of ennobled humanity ; 



12 

Jet him be placed side by side with a savage New 
Zealander newly gorged with a meal of human 
flesh, which with bloody fingers he has devoured 
half raw, while the impress of the brute blends 
with the image of the fiend in every lineament of 
his face — tell me, my dear sir, is it possible that 
those two men can occupy equal spaces and pos- 
sess equal rights (for occupancy is here the mea- 
sure of rights) in the world of human action and 
responsibility? 

A man's claim to rights is just and proper ac- 
cording as he holds and exercises the power of per- 
forming the correspondent duties. Rights then are 
various. To talk of equality of rights is absurd ; 
to talk of inalienable rights seems not much bet- 
ter. For if rights are not inherent and absolute, 
they are not inalienable; if they may be acquired, 
so also may they be lost. Does not the constant 
practice of men show this, when they put culprits 
in prison, condemn them to labour or stripes, and 
even hang them by the neck ? 

It may be asserted as a general truth, that all 
men have a right to political freedom. But may 
we not suppose a people, and that too, without 
going beyond the record of facts, or travelling far 
back into time, who by their ignorance and vices 
have shown themselves unfit for the possession of 
this right. Unfit, because they knew not the 
duties which such right of necessity imposes ; or 
if they knew, were incapable of performing them. 



13 

Such people have found in the government of a 
monarch that peace and security which they were 
unable to procure for themselves. Nor should 
we be disposed^ I apprehend, to laud that spirit of 
mis-named philanthropy, which would busy itself 
in exciting a nation of this kind to revolt, under 
the plea, that the people possessed a natural right 
to a free constitution. For there is abundant evi- 
dence to show that the consequences of revolu- 
tion would be, to plunge them into scenes of con- 
tinual violence and bloodshed, insomuch, that the 
arms of the sternest despotism would be to them 
a desirable refuge. Such people are not made 
slaves by the usurpation of a king ; they had made 
themselves slaves before ; and happy will they be, 
if now they may exchange the capricious domina- 
tion of their own passions for the steady rule of 
another's well ordered mind. Tyranny is the 
abuse of this power of rule. 

Let us now consider the doctrine of rights in 
relation to slavery. Personal freedom is doubt- 
less a right which every man ought to possess; 
because no man ought to render himself incapable 
of using it properly. I would not reason with a 
man who should insist that slavery was not an 
evil as a permanent part of social and political 
institutions; nor with any one, who would main- 
tain that it was not a wrong, in the general view 
of man's capacities, and of the excellence which 



14 

he is called to attain. One who has known what 
it is to be free, need go no farther than his own 
instinctive feelings to be assured that slavery is a 
wrong — a wrong in the general view mentioned 
above, and still more a wrong in proportion to the 
capacity which the enslaved possess of under- 
standing and of appreciating freedom. Those 
who are acquainted with no other condition than 
that of servitude, having been born to it ; who are 
satisfied with their situation and desire no other, 
being fit for no other ; such persons are not con- 
scious of injury, and indeed suffer none, that I 
can see, except in so far as the power of the mas- 
ter is used in an arbitrary and tyrannical manner, 
for purposes of cruelty Gr of mere gain, and with 
no view of elevating the nature o[ the slave, in 
order that he may, after a time, emerge with 
safety into a condition more befitting a rational 
creature. 

If political slavery be the only suitable condi- 
tion for some people, it appears to be but follow- 
ing out the analogy, to suppose that personal ser- 
vitude is the most proper condition for others, who 
are still farther sunk in imbecility. It is indeed, 
in many countries the natural consequence of 
political slavery, when the rule of the monarch 
becomes tyrannical. 'In Achim,' says Montes- 
quieu, 'every one is for selling himself. Some of 
the chief lords have not less than a thousand 



15 

slaves, all principal merchants, who have a great 
number of slaves themselves, and these also, are 
not without their slaves. Their masters are their 
heirs and put them into trade. In those states,' 
continues this author, f the freemen Being over- 
powered by the government, have no better re- 
source, than making themselves slaves to the 
tyrants in office.' e According to Mr. Perry,' says 
this same writer, 'the Muscovites sell themselves 
very readily. The reason for it is evident \ their 
liberty is not worth keeping.' * 

A man must obey some master. If that master 
be within him, ruling by a sense of duty and the 
law of reason, obedience will conduct him to the 
highest state of human excellence and felicity. 
But if he have not this guide within himself, he 
will still serve ; but he will serve capricious 
tyrants. For he will be enslaved by his own sen- 
sual and selfish passions, than which no tyranny 
is more intolerable. It is a good maxim which 
was uttered by Mr. Coleridge, that external con- 
trol should be in an inverse ratio to the power of 
inward control. It may be the means of saving a 
people from self-destruction, to put them under 
service to some more steady will than their own. 
Do you ask is slavery then right? How vague 
the question ! In view of what man ought to be 
who shall pretend to say that it is right? Nay, 

* Spirit of L.aws, book xv. ch. 6. 



16 

who does not see that it is utterly inconsistent,, if 
continued permanently, with the full develop- 
ment of the nobler feelings and faculties? Or in 
view of the uses to which the enslaved are often 
put; such as of traffic, making merchandise of 
them; or of cruel labour, making mere machines 
of them to minister to cupidity — who can under- 
take to justify these things? But the question of 
right must be applied in reference to the state of 
those who are captives, and also to the character 
of those who are masters. It is only by reason of 
the conditions of the case that the relation becomes 
proper. Who finds fault with a child because it 
is not a man ? Or who expects from a child the 
self-government of a man ? How tyrannical 
would be the restraints which are imposed upon 
minors, if they were put upon grown men! Yet 
who complains of them when applied to children? 
Nay, children themselves seek for them in will- 
ingly placing themselves under the control of 
those whose superior wisdom they venerate. Ac- 
knowledging the control of parents over their 
children to be right, no one will yet undertake to 
justify all abuses of such rule. Parental cruelty 
can find no excuse therein. 

In all communities of men the principle of 
subordination prevails. Ignorance does homage 
to wisdom; moral weakness seeks to put itself 
under the guidance of some power which it finds 



17 

not within. Abuses of this principle also prevail; 
such as when prescriptive dogmas take the place 
of wisdom,, and extort submission with bigoted 
intolerance ; and also when force, whether deriv- 
ed from riches, from office, or from any other 
source apart from real worth, strives to compel 
others into its train. But these abuses, so far 
from disproving the principle, are indeed, evi- 
dences of its existence; and draw their power 
from the principle which they pervert. The same 
rule of subordination, when it acts in reference to 
two classes, wherein civilization and barbarism 
are at the extremes, takes the relation of personal 
servitude on the one hand, and of personal control 
on the other. For the reverence which the inferior 
naturally pays to those above him, here becomes 
servility ; having little of self-respect to ennoble it. 
There are then several considerations to be taken 
into the account, when we would pronounce con- 
cerning slavery in a particular instance. For 
example, with regard to the enslaved — were they 
free and civilized before ? Were they capable of 
self-government? Then they suffer great injury. 
Again, of the masters — have they used violence 
in subjecting their fellow-men to bondage, for 
purposes of gain or of pleasure? Do they use 
their power with cruelty? Then they do great 
wrong. But in this as in all other matters of 
opinion, we shall run into great absurdities, if we 
3 



18 

contemplate a mere abstract question, without re- 
gard to conditions and particulars. For although 
slavery from its great liability to abuse, may be 
the source of the greatest evils that can befall man- 
kind, yet it is very certain, that in itself it may be 
a perfectly natural and voluntary relation, which 
shall subsist to the mutual advantage of both par- 
ties, f can very well imagine how Providence 
may design a blessing to a degraded people by 
placing them in bondage among a civilized com- 
munity ; not indeed with a view to perpetuity; 
but as a means of receiving the elements of useful 
knowledge and of morals. For they could not 
well receive such elements in any other way. Is 
the course of discipline a severe one? How shall 
a nation or an individual attain to wisdom and 
virtue without severe schooling? And let it be 
remembered, that the rigour of the process and the 
duration of it, are in proportion to the degree of 
abjectness from which the resurgation begins. 

So far from slavery being in itself, always, the 
violation of all rights and the consummation of all 
wrongs, I cannot conceive how a savage people 
could dwell in a civilized community, (if by any 
means they are brought thither,) in any other 
relation. And knowing that they could maintain 
no other, they would not desire any other, if good 
will and kindness prevailed among the civilized 
race in proportion to their superior knowledge. 



19 

In such case the power of the master would not 
be exercised with cruelty; nor would the servi- 
tude be continued longer than the condition of the 
subject required it; provided the relation could be 
changed without danger to either party. What 
more natural? An ignorant barbarian, thrown by 
any means into the society of a civilized man, 
would instantaneously regard him as a superior ; 
he would reverence him, he would obey him, he 
would delight to serve him. For he would per- 
ceive how far his enlightened companion surpass- 
ed him in the knowledge of things, in arts and 
useful contrivances. His own consciousness of 
ignorance, while it brought humility, would be 
accompanied also by a desire to learn. He would 
be willing to give whatever he had in exchange 
for the favour and the instruction of such a supe- 
rior. And what would he have to give but 
personal service? How could the other impart 
knowledge or deal with him at all, except upon 
condition of obedience? It is useless to contro- 
vert about names; but there is no denying that 
the relation of master and slave would here subsist 
as the most natural and proper that could be. De 
Foe, who is so noted for his fidelity to nature, has 
represented the savage, Friday, prostrating himself 
before the solitary monarch of the island, and by 
putting the foot of his master upon his own neck, 
indicating more strongly than words could have 



20 

done, that he was his slave to obey him in all 
things. It is to be understood in all cases of this 
kind, that the savage has not been for any long 
time under the teaching of misguided philanthro- 
pists ; otherwise his head being filled with abstract 
doctrines of the rights of man and of the equality 
of the species, he might be disposed to regard his 
superior as a tyrant or a man-stealer, and therefore 
become sullen, envious, and revengeful. 

In this view of the subject there is no difficulty 
in understanding the words of Paul, 'Servants, be 
obedient to them that are your masters according 
to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness 
of your hearts, as unto Christ.' 'And ye, masters, 
do the same things unto them, forbearing threaten- 
ing; knowing that your Master also is in heaven; 
neither is there respect of persons with him.' 
Ephes. vi. 5, 9. 

The evils of slavery are to be found in the abuse 
of the ruling power; just as a monarchical govern- 
ment by admitting a tyrannical prince, may become 
the source of much misery. It affords occasion 
for the exercise of injustice ; for the growth of 
selfish passions, which may soon weaken the 
hold of better feelings upon the heart, and may 
tempt us to seek to make a state of things per- 
petual, which ought to endure only for a time. 
The situation of a master, so far from seeming a 
thing to be coveted, does indeed bring with it 



21 

relations of fearful responsibility. For he ought 
to look upon himself somewhat as a guardian to 
those whom Providence has placed under his 
charge. But when this responsibility comes in 
the course of things, as by inheritance in a com- 
munity where slavery exists, it is in my judg- 
ment, no mark of magnanimity for a man to cast 
off the connection that binds him to his slaves ; 
and under pretence of giving them freedom, to 
leave them without a guide or protector in the 
midst of a society where they can possess no 
rights; where they have few inducements to good 
conduct; where they are surrounded by a thou- 
sand incentives to indolence and vice. The mat- 
ter becomes very different, of course, when the 
master may give them freedom, and at the same 
time place them in such a situation as that their 
freedom shall indeed be to them a blessing. Then 
the act becomes noble. 

Let us now come to the particular matter in 
hand, concerning the African race who are held 
in bondage among us. Were they a free civilized 
people dwelling in harmony under the govern- 
ment of wise laws, from which condition of inde- 
pendence and happiness they have been torn by 
violence, and condemned to unaccustomed toil 
and degradation in a strange land ? It is proper 
that we should know something of these particu- 
lars. This much is certain, that the ancestors of 
3* 



22 

these negroes were, as the natives of Western 
Africa are now, a barbarous, savage people ; sunk 
in superstition ; and given to all manner of rude, 
cruel and low customs. I presume it would be 
difficult to find upon the face of the earth, a race 
of people more abjectly sunk in human imbecility. 
Among the African tribes as among all savage 
people, wars have been common ; the natural 
state of savages may almost be said to be a state 
of war. In these wars the invariable custom has 
been, and still is, to make slaves of those who are 
taken captives. If however, a tribe has slaves 
enough, and finds no means of disposing of a fresh 
accession of prisoners, the custom is to put them 
to death. I have it from a gentleman who was 
for some time colonial agent in Liberia, that a 
chief of a tribe in the interior to whom he had 
sent commissioners for some purpose or other, 
having taken a number of prisoners whom he had 
no use for as slaves, stabbed them with his own 
hand in presence of the commissioners. When a 
chief or head man dies it is usual to kill many 
slaves at his funeral, in order that he may not 
want attendants in the other world. The num- 
ber of victims is generally in proportion to the 
dignity of the chief. When a market was opened 
by slave-dealers, wherein these captives could be 
disposed of at a profit, the custom of putting them 
to death was no longer followed ; for by such act 



23 

the captors would be depriving themselves of 
ready gain. 

Slavery has existed in Africa, as a part of their 
social institutions, for so long a time that no one 
can point out the period when it began. In 1796, 
when Mungo Park visited the western coast, he 
found in the Gambia country that the free class 
of inhabitants composed only one-fourth of the 
population: f the other three -fourths,' says this 
traveller, 'are in a state of hopeless and hereditary 
slavery. Among some tribes, as the Mandingo, 
there is some protection of law to the domestic 
slave ; that is to say, the master cannot put him 
to death or sell him to a stranger without calling 
a palaver on his conduct.' How far this may 
shield the slave from the cupidity or cruelty of the 
master I know not. 'But this degree of protec- 
tion,' says the traveller, f is extended only to the 
native or domestic slave ; captives taken in war, 
those unfortunate victims who are condemned to 
slavery for crimes, or insolvency, and in short, all 
those unhappy people who are brought down 
from the interior countries for sale, have no secu- 
rity whatever, but may be treated and disposed 
of in all respects as the owner thinks proper.'* 

It will thus be seen that the injury inflicted 
upon the negroes by carrying them to a distant 
country for purposes of labour was indeed no 

* Park's Travels, ch. ii. 



24 

injury at all. For they were thus delivered from 
a worse bondage at home ; or from death itself. 
I say from a worse bondage at home — for what 
condition can be worse than a state of servitude 
to a barbarous savage, who possesses the power 
of inflicting tortures and death in any moment of 
caprice or passion 1 

I have not set forth this view of the subject for 
the purpose of justifying the traffic in slaves which 
has so long been the disgrace of Christendom ; nor 
m any manner to excuse slave-traders who are 
certainly impelled by no humane motives in car- 
rying on their business ; but by motives entirely 
selfish and abominable. It is proper however 
that we should be acquainted with all the par- 
ticulars which affect the general question ; other- 
wise how shall we be able to form a rational 
opinion ? In the consideration of this part of the 
subject we may also find an antidote against that 
hasty sort of philanthropy, which, viewing things 
only according to outward appearance, is inflamed 
into a zeal without knowledge ; which leads many 
to deplore the condition of a people who are cer- 
tainly the gainers by their captivity ; who enjoy 
in their present state more comforts than their 
ancestors ever conceived of; who are in a situa- 
tion whereby they may gain a knowledge of many- 
useful arts, and receive in some degree, the ele- 
ments of true religious faith. They have been 



25 

delivered from a state of life, the lowest that 
human nature has ever sunk into ; a condition of 
society where cruelty, treachery, revenge, debas- 
ing superstitions, and all manner of abominable 
uncleanness composed the elements of education. 
With all the evils that belong to their present mode 
of living in this country, there is no question but 
it is far superior to that of their countrymen in 
Africa, who are the slaves either of one another; 
or what is equally bad, the slaves of their own 
vices and superstitions. 

It is natural for persons of quick sensibilities, 
when their minds are awakened to a perception of 
wrongs in which they have been concerned, whe- 
ther innocently or not, it is natural I say for such to 
feel a strong desire to make immediate compensa- 
tion ; under the influence of which feeling, they are 
often hurried into hasty and inconsiderate actions 
which frequently bring great evils upon them- 
selves, with but little good to the objects of their 
solicitude. Such a feeling is akin to that which 
prompted pious ascetics of old, to lacerate their 
bodies, and to endure many distressing penances, 
to atone for sins, which their imaginations, under 
the excitement of sudden remorse, had conjured 
into horrible forms. A state of mind like this is 
certainly ill adapted for purposes of real and useful 
benevolence ; yet such, I apprehend is the feeling 



26 

among many who are advocates of the immediate 
abolition of slavery in this country. 

What then? Because in the order of Provi- 
dence a state of servitude may become the means 
of ultimate good to the enslaved, and in certain 
contingencies such condition may be natural and 
proper; because the negroes whom we hold in 
bondage have not suffered those injuries which 
many at first view are apt to suppose, but are in 
reality the better for their captivity, does it follow 
from all this that we are to remain at ease and do 
nothing for their deliverance? Nay, rather on 
the other hand we ought to see that the final issue 
for good depends upon our action to this very end. 
To keep them in servitude perpetually is to defeat 
the real purpose for which such servitude may be 
to them a blessing. If no injury has hitherto 
been done them, we begin a course of injury by 
neglecting to seek some rational means of restor- 
ing them to wholesome freedom in such manner, 
as that the change may be effected gradually and 
with safety to both master and slave. They may 
not be conscious of having suffered wrong; they 
may not now feel that any rights are withheld ; 
but does that remove from us the obligation to do 
justice? If by accidental means I come into pos- 
session of another's property, which he does not 
know to be his own, yet for the want of which he 
may be suffering, can I lawfully retain possession 



27 

of it'? Yet if this person be a minor, to whom I 
am guardian, he being incapable of making a 
proper use of his inheritance, it is hardly my duty 
in view of clearing conscience, to entrust him 
with that, which, though lawfully his own when- 
ever he shall be in a fit condition to use it, may 
at present becomes the means of his ruin; which 
will cause him to be exposed to a thousand dan- 
gers, not only from the dishonesty of knaves, but 
also by reason of his own ignorance and want of 
experience. In the proper blending of these two 
duties, viz : that of restoring and that of withhold- 
ing will be found occasion for the exercise of 
genuine benevolence, tempered with discretion, 
which is the wholesome condition of both 3 for 
neither should act alone. 

It may be asked how shall it be known when 
the state of servitude becomes no longer proper, if 
there be conditions which make it so at all; as I 
have supposed there are. To this the answer 
seems to be ; when the evils of the relation become 
apparent. It is in this way that we are taught to 
change any course of conduct which we had been 
in the habit of pursuing with seeming safety 
before. The perception of these evils makes it 
evident that something is wrong; it then becomes 
the part of conscience, enlightened by reason, to 
discover wherein is the error; and to suggest and 
to provide the means of its removal. But it 



28 

belongs to those only, who are concerned — that is 
to the community wherein slavery exists, to choose 
the time of action as well as the mode. It is their 
own business, in which no other has a right to 
interfere. For as the responsibility rests upon 
them; as the consequences of their doings must 
be theirs, it would be impertinent and wicked to 
intrude upon the limits of their moral freedom. 
Whatever advices are offered from abroad, should 
seek admittance only through the medium of a 
spirit of sympathy, made up of kindred feelings 
and of sincere good- will; they should claim influ- 
ence only, as they are received with willingness; 
and none are the legitimate judges of their appli- 
cability, save those whose duty it is to act. 

The substance of what I have been discoursing 
about may be briefly set forth thus: 

First concerning Rights : That they are not 
inherent and absolute ; otherwise the rights of a 
man and of a child would be the same ; but they 
are relative and depend upon duties. In propor- 
tion as a man improves his powers for purposes 
of good in their legitimate order, in such propor- 
tion do his rights increase. These rights follow 
of necessity as natural consequences; although it 
may often happen that the brutal part of human 
nature, operating by force, may overpower the 
inward voice of right. From this it follows that if 
rights may be acquired by virtuous labour, so also 



29 

may they be lost by indolence and vice. When a 
man becomes incapable of using a right, it is in 
reality no longer his. A man of full growth and 
sound constitution has a right to marry ; a child 
has no such right; nor will the man continue to 
possess it, if he pursues evil courses to the ener- 
vating of his body. An intelligent man of good 
moral principles has a right to freedom of action ; 
a madman has no such right ; nor the confirmed 
desperado, who has shown himself incapable of 
respecting law. A nation of virtuous and enlight- 
ened people have a right to a free constitution ; 
an ignorant or a corrupt people have not. These 
latter, unable to govern themselves, require the 
strong rule of a single man. Under a republican 
form they would be employed in cutting each 
other's throats. 

The power of using a right worthily is blended 
with an instinct that prompts to its exercise. 

The consciousness of wanting the power of 
using a right properly causes one to know that he 
has no just claim to it. A servile people do not 
desire freedom. 

These two remarks however are to be taken 
with limitations. The sense of inward power 
pervading a vast multitude is often in its concep- 
tion indistinct ; it excites enthusiasm which drives 
to excess. Time and experience are required 
before men can know themselves. Again, a cor- 
4 



30 

rupt people often cleave to a republican form of 
government and preserve the outward appearances 
of being their own rulers ; but it is only until they 
are fully convinced of their incapacity. Roman 
self-government was no more, after the domina- 
tion of Sylla ; the form of the republic remained 
for some time later ; nay the consular office was 
continued,, and also the shadow of a senate for 
many years under the emperors. 

Secondly concerning slavery : Is political sla- 
very right, such for example as that of the Turks ? 
Who shall say that it is right, in view of the ca- 
pacities and duties of man ? Is it wrong ? Who 
shall say that it is wrong, in view of the character 
of the people who could perhaps live under no 
other kind of government ! If it is wished to 
change outward relations, you must first change 
the inward disposition ; to improve a form of 
government you must first improve the character 
of the people. 

Is personal slavery right ? What, as a part of 
national institutions intended for permanence ? 
Certainly not. Has one man a right of property 
over another ? What, as an article of merchan- 
dise, to be bought and sold merely? By no means. 

Slavery becomes proper only by reason of con- 
ditions. A people ignorant and docile ; uncivi- 
lized, yet accustomed to labour, dwelling in a 
community of enlightened men, from whom they 



31 

are distinct in race, cannot well hold any other 
relation than that of servitude. Shall the superior 
class degrade themselves for the purpose of more 
easy association? This relation becomes still more 
necessary, when the inferior race has been for 
innumerable generations inured to slavery, inso- 
much that a servile spirit is their chief characte- 
ristic. But this relation being, under such condi- 
tions, proper, there is no justification afforded 
thereby to the imposition of unusual labour; to 
cruelty, or to capricious tyranny of any kind; nor 
to the indulgence of selfish cupidity. For the laws 
of reason and of right are ever binding ; nor is 
there any condition of things which may release a 
man from the christian obligation of doing as he 
would be done unto. 



CHAPTER II. 



I proceed now to consider the modes which 
have been recommended of delivering the country 
from the evils of slavery. The first which I shall 
allude to is that which is urged with much 
warmth by many persons at the north, who are 
known by the name of Abolitionists. 

The chiel purposes of the Abolition society are 
stated in two propositions. I quote from Jay's 
Inquiry, which is orthodox, I believe, with the 
friends of this measure. 

1. 'The immediate abolition of slavery through- 
out the United States.' 

2. 'The ultimate elevation of the black popu- 
lation to an equality with the white in civil and 
religious privileges.'* 

I shall not now stop to consider by what means 
the advocates of this scheme propose to accomplish 
their purposes. Let us suppose them to be effect- 

* Jay's Inquiry, p. 141. 



33 

ed ; and let us consider what might be expected 
from such a consummation in some one of the 
cotton-growing states of the south, where the 
whites and blacks are nearly equal in numerical 
proportion. Let it be remembered also that amal- 
gamation by intermarriages is allowed on all sides 
to be a thing wholly impracticable; for we have 
the assurance of Mr. Jay that the abolitionists are 
the advocates of no such odious measure. 'One 
of the designs,' says this writer, 'falsely imputed 
to them (the abolitionists) is that of bringing about 
an amalgamation of colours by intermarriages. 
In vain have they again and again denied any 
such design ; in vain have their writings been 
searched for any recommendation of such amal- 
gamation. ,# 

Here then we have dwelling in the same com- 
munity two distinct races of men, totally different, 
the one from the other, in colour, in modes of life, 
in modes of thinking and of feeling : and the one 
far superior to the other in knowledge, in art, in 
refinement, in property, in every thing that per- 
tains to civilization. It is expected of these two 
different sorts of people, that they will unite toge- 
ther harmoniously in administering the public 
affairs ; that they will compose parts of the same 
body politic ; in a word that they will dwell toge- 
ther as one people. 

* Jay's Inquiry, p. 147. 



34 

I leave all other parts of the subject, my dear 
sir, to come in as they may, with a view of setting 
forth singly and with clearness, this proposition, 
viz. That tivo distinct races of people, nearly 
equal in numbers, and unlike in colour, manners, 
habits, feelings and slate of civilization, to such a 
degree that amalgamation is impossible, cannot 
dwell together in the same community, unless the 
one be in subjection to the other. 

I care not to inquire by what process the friends 
of immediate emancipation propose to have the 
coloured population brought into a full possession 
of civil privileges ; whether immediate or gradual. 
The consummation in either case is the same. 
The means by which they are attempting to gain 
their end will also be passed by, for the present. 
The impolicy and dangerous tendency of their 
measures will be most clearly seen by considering 
the issue to which they must come. 

In every state which acknowledges one consti- 
tution there must be a certain common interest 
whereby it is bound together : from which will 
follow a harmony of parts, and a common feeling 
of sympathy. This is necessary to give unity to 
a state, and to constitute it individual. 

From these considerations come two principles, 
which are equally evident and necessary. First, 
with regard to the sovereign will of the state which 
expresses itself in the form of laws, it is plain that 



6b 

this must be one. It may have for its agent an elec- 
tive officer whose duties are defined, and blended 
with those of other agents, or a king, or a senate, 
or any other depository. It may itself be called 
the soul of the state, whereof the body may have 
one form or another. It is essential to this supreme 
will or power, that it be one. If there be a rival 
power in the nation which is not subordinate, 
then there can be no harmony until the question 
of supremacy is settled. Hence the early history 
of England, not to mention other nations of 
Europe, is filled with details of the many strifes 
between the throne and the church. For it was 
contended by the clergy that they were not ame- 
nable to the civil laws of the nation ; they claimed 
not only to be exclusively under ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction themselves, but also maintained the 
supremacy of the pope in all matters both secular 
and spiritual. This contest was the fruitful source 
of dissensions until the question was finally deter- 
mined. 

The governing power must not only be supreme, 
every other power being subordinate, but there 
can be no security unless it has also a sense of 
permanence. Thus, when Ferdinand of Spain 
subdued the Moors, yet was not the nation at 
ease, until the whole body of the Moorish people 
were exiled from the Spanish soil. For although 
this race were in a state of temporary subjection. 



36 

yet remaining distinct with all their national pecu- 
liarities, which were in every respect foreign from 
the genius of the Spanish people, there could exist 
between them no confidence or sympathy. Per- 
petual care and vigilance would be required to 
watch them ; every disturbance in the state might 
afford them an opportunity of rising in rebellion ; 
and in a word, neither peace nor security could 
be enjoyed so long as they remained in the king- 
dom. Hence the necessity of a measure which 
may at first sight appear cruel. 

The same principle is manifested sometimes in 
the histories of separate states, as in the case of 
Rome and Carthage. Both powerful, and ani- 
mated by feelings of mutual hostility, for being so 
totally different in character and pursuits, there 
could be little cordiality between them, the one 
was continually in dread of the other, and feared 
to undertake any great business which might 
require all the energies of the state, lest the occa- 
sion would be seized upon by their enemy for 
commencing hostilities. In this view the saying 
of Cato ; Delenda est Carthago, may contain some 
sound policy, as well as much of the barbarous 
spirit of the age. 

Secondly, — There must be in every well-consti- 
tuted state a certain homogeneousness of parts. 
Not only is it necessary that the governing power 
be supreme, and free from any dread of subver- 



37 

sion; but the several members also of the body 
politic must be in harmony, both among them- 
selves and with the governing power likewise. 
According as the constitution of a country is fixed, 
the various subordinate departments of all grades, 
•each after its kind, may be considered as the reci- 
pients and dispensers of the supreme will, even as 
the various limbs and organs of the body are reci- 
pients and dispensers of the life of a man. Or as 
the sap of a tree rises from the roots, and ascend- 
ing to the top, is returned again downwards, dif- 
fusing itself throughout the various vessels and 
tubes, imparting nourishment to every branch and 
spray ; so the vis vitm of the state performs a like 
course, whereby one common spirit pervades the 
entire community. But this healthful circulation 
cannot go on if it so happen that some members 
are unfit recipients of this influence ; obstructions 
take place, and a general derangement follows 
through the whole system. Or, to take another 
illustration from nature. It is well known that 
crystalization, whereby many particles are joined 
together to form one body, can be effected only 
when the elements are homogeneous. 

The idea of force is repugnant to that of a well- 
ordered state. I speak not of that kind of force 
which is sometimes necessary to repel foreign 
aggression, and which ought therefore to be well 
provided for. But in the internal administration 
of its own affairs obodiVnce is expected to follow 



38 

implicitly the dictates of the governing will, when 
the same is expressed in the form of law. If this 
power, in its diffusion throughout the divers rami- 
fications of the political system meets with obstruc- 
tions, force then arises to remove the impediment. 
This being done force subsides. It is manifest 
therefore that all the parts of the body politic must 
be in harmony. The elements of this are found 
in many things: such as a common language, 
common interests, geographical situation, with 
facility of mutual intercourse, intermarriages, with 
their corresponding relationships ; to which may 
be added a common religion and identity of blood. 
It may indeed happen that a foreign people may 
be incorporated with a community already estab- 
lished, as will be noticed more fully hereafter; 
just as a strange shoot may be engrafted upon a 
tree. But as in the latter case, the sap of the 
parent stock must pass freely into the new bough, 
and thus assimilate it with itself; so in the other, 
the new class of people must be adapted to receive 
the spirit, that is to say, the laws, manners and 
general feeling of the nation with which they are 
united. In other words there must be a mutual 
blending and amalgamation whereby the two may 
become one people. But this latter consumma- 
tion is not recognized in the proposition which we 
are considering. 

A foreign mass in the midst of a society with 



39 

which it cannot assimilate is as a dead member, 
hrough which the life blood of the body social 
does not circulate ; if inactive it becomes the seat 
of putrescence and gangrene which will shortly- 
spread throughout the whole system, unless re- 
course be had to amputation. But in a commu- 
nity where this heterogeneous part is active, being 
quickened by motives and interests of its own, the 
disorder becomes ten-fold worse. It has no em- 
blem, unless we imagine the body of a man pos- 
sessed at once by two discordant spirits. 

During the middle ages, the Jews were subjects 
of persecution in most of the christian nations of 
Europe. By a decree of Ferdinand of Spain they 
were expelled from that kingdom at once, to the 
number of one hundred and fifty thousand. Under 
the reign of Philip the Long, they were driven 
from France, being accused of having poisoned the 
springs with their lepers. At the coronation of 
Richard I. a general massacre of the Jews broke 
out in London which extended to York and other 
cities. The pretexts for these outrages were va- 
rious. Heresy was a standing charge ; they were 
also accused of monopolizing trade ; of exacting 
usury, to say nothing of other accusations. But 
the Jews lived to themselves, apart from the rest 
of the community, with whom they did not min- 
gle in marriage ; they were a separate people ; they 
sympathized not in the general feelings. When 



40 

distrust and aversion were thus excited and kept 
alive, a pretext for giving vent to them would not 
long be wanting. 

There is another view in which it may be seen 
how impossible it is for two several races of peo- 
ple to live together in peace under one govern- 
ment, each being distinct from the other, yet 
both participating equally in the administration. 
The constitution of laws by which a people are 
governed, is adapted to their particular condition ; 
it is indeed the natural offspring of their wants, 
their feelings, their habits of thought and pursuits; 
and bears in every feature the impress of the 
national genius. As a nation gradually changes 
so also its constitution is modified to suit; a more 
refined age discards much that belonged to a for- 
mer more barbarous period, and adopts new insti- 
tutions which correspond better with the present. 
How different, for example, is the English consti- 
tution from that which prevailed three centuries 
ago! 

It will follow from this that any particular sys- 
tem of government can suit only that people for 
whose uses and convenience it was framed. A 
community of Englishmen would find a French 
system of laws and manners very ill-adapted to 
their comfort ; and so vice versa. As there are 
in the language of a people certain idioms and 
forms of speech which are peculiar and which 



41 

cannot be translated into another tongue, although 
the general principles of language are every where 
the same ; so while the great maxims of policy 
and government are universally acknowledged by 
all civilized nations as the same In all countries 
alike, there are nevertheless certain characteristic 
peculiarities which distinguish individual states 
from all others ; and are so intimately blended 
with the spirit and genius of the people as to be 
inseparable therefrom. A more excellent illus- 
tration of the same thing is contained in Lord 
Bacon's simile,, 'like as waters do take tinctures 
and tastes from the soils through which they run, 
so do civil laws vary according to the regions and 
governments where they are planted ; though they 
proceed from the same fountain.' In view of this 
truth how were it possible that two distinct nations, 
each possessing its idiomatic peculiarities, could 
live together under a political system which suits 
only one of them? How greatly is the absurdity 
of such a supposition heightened, when it is 
known that the one nation is composed of whites, 
the other of blacks; that the one is highly civilized, 
refined, and wealthy ; the other lately delivered 
from slavery, imbued with a servile spirit, igno- 
rant, coarse, and destitute of substance. 

This same truth is illustrated by the revolutions 
which sometimes take place in a nation. The 
government being established to suit the general 
5 



42 

interest at an early period, becomes ill adapted to 
the same end, when after the lapse of some ages, 
a gradual change has passed upon the pursuits, 
manners and character of the state. Yet the con- 
stitution was established with a view to stability ; 
large interests, a whole aristocracy, for example, 
or the monarchy itself are opposed to a change ; 
the system suits their wants and wishes as well as 
it ever did ; for at the time of its establishment, 
these were the only prominent interests in the 
nation, the people being in a state of vassalage. 
But by the gradual weakening of the aristocratical 
or monarchical power; by the introduction of 
trade; by the more general distribution of landed 
property, the people have become powerful. The 
government having been framed without a view 
to their good, is unsuited to their wants; hence 
comes a struggle between the expansive and the 
conservative powers of the commonwealth. This 
may be seen exemplified in the history of England 
in all the gradual changes which were made in 
the constitution, from the time of Magna Charta 
up to the revolution of '68, and even since that 
period. Just before the civil wars of Cromwell's 
time, the royal prerogative had been carried to its 
greatest height by James I. whose favourite maxim 
was, that kings held by a divine right ; and that 
all liberty to the people must come to them as a 
gift from the throne of majesty. By this full 



43 

development of the crown's pretensions, the peo- 
ple saw clearly that there was no security for 
their own rights and liberties ; that they had no 
part in the political fabric ; that there was no 
unison between their interests and the constitu- 
tion under which they lived. This perception 
being accompanied by a consciousness of strength, 
prompted to a speedy determination of a matter 
which could not be suffered to remain in doubt. 

Hence it is apparent that for every great interest 
in a community, there must be a corresponding 
provision adapted thereunto in the laws of the 
land. The constitution must be in harmony with 
the people; it must be the natural offspring of 
their wants, their feelings, their habits. Thus the 
different members of the state are required also to 
be bound together by a general sympathy, subsist- 
ing mutually between each and all; so that the 
provisions which are made for the security and 
happiness of one part, may not be opposed to the 
wants and interests of another. In a homoge- 
neous community, this general harmony will be 
the test of the excellence of the government; for 
therein the interests of one part, so far from clash- 
ing, will altogether coincide with the interests of 
ail, and will tend to promote the same. 

But how different the case when one-half of the 
community is directly antagonist to the other! 
When the laws and institutions which correspond 



44 

with the intelligence, the refinement, the wealth 
and industry of the one class, cannot so much as 
be understood by the inferior division, which is 
wanting in all that distinguishes the other ! 

When one class of a community is in subjection 
to the other, provided, that it be not a subjection 
brought about by mere brute force, but founded on 
the natural subordination of the weak and ignorant 
to the more powerful and civilized, there may 
then exist a state of perfect harmony. For the 
enslaved will then have no part in the administra- 
tion of affairs ; nor will they desire any, being 
conscious of their own incapability of even under- 
standing, much less of managing such great mat- 
ters. The benefits of good government will come 
to them through the medium of their superiors ; 
and partaking of its blessings in such way, they 
will look no farther than to their own masters for 
the source of their enjoyments. When the seve- 
rity of rule is tempered with kindness, as I have 
witnessed in instances without number, there 
springs up between master and slave, a domestic 
sympathy, which is the kindly foster mother of 
many good affections. The children of the family 
are nursed by faithful and affectionate slaves ; 
their childish sports are with those of like age 
though of different colour ; yet what does child- 
hood know or care of differences in complexion ? 
The feelings of deep attachment formed thus early 



45 

in life, if they be not afterwards broken by harsk 
treatment, with what intensity do they cleave to 
the heart of the negro ? I have seen the manly 
character of the master reflected in the demeanour 
of the slave ; the same sort of self-respect which 
made a gentleman of the one, served also to mould 
the other into a faithful domestic. The negroes 
are proud of their master's worth; they delight 
to bear his name, and scorn to disgrace it. To 
me it appears that a condition of servitude in 
which such feelings are nurtured may be the 
happiest of all means whereby a degraded people 
may be raised into a better state. There must be 
a tedious process undergone, and one full of trou- 
bles, before unenlightened man can be made fit to 
receive with safety, the dreadful yet precious 
responsibility of his own self-government. A bar- 
barous people, among whom a spirit of self-reno- 
vation is yet active, such for example as the 
English were at the period of the Norman con- 
quest, through what scenes of confusion, and strife, 
and violence, and bloodshed, must they pass in 
their painful progress towards this great fulfil- 
ment ! With what fearful, doubting hesitation 
are the first steps made! How timidly does the 
young germ unfold ! The spirit of liberty, which 
is but another name for the spirit of truth, moving 
amid the troubled chaos, impregnates the general 
soul, and transfuses itself into the embryo ele- 
5* 



46 

merits of human thought and feeling. How gra- 
dually the hidden conception wakens into life! 
With what terrible struggles, with what partu- 
rient throes is it ushered into being ! Yet the 
vivacious chrysalis has scarcely burst the bands of 
one womb,, ere it finds itself enclosed in another, 
yet possessed of new vigour to enlarge still farther 
the barriers of its prison. Let the history of any 
nation be traced, that has arrived at anything 
like freedom, and it will be seen how great a mat- 
ter it is to govern one's-self in liberty. How many 
have sunk in their efforts, after having attained 
just enough to give freedom to pride and self- 
conceit! 

The Israelitish nation, when they were deliver- 
ed from the bondage of the Egyptians, had doubt- 
less amid all the degradation of recent servitude, 
many elements of moral resuscitation. They could 
remember that Abraham was their ancestor ; that 
Joseph, of their own family, had been ruler over 
Egypt. They had doubtless preserved in their 
usages and traditions the memory of many sub- 
lime truths, which their forefathers had received 
by communications with heavenly intelligence. 
Yet a pilgrimage of forty years, full of sufferings, 
was deemed proper to be undergone by them, 
before they were to be entrusted with their own 
destiny ; to say nothing of the wonderful revela- 
tions that were made to them, of truths from 



47 

heaven, and of the many evidences that were 
given them of the divine favour. With all these 
helps they were driven afterwards, by the con- 
sequences of misrule, to solicit a king ; nay, a 
second captivity in Babylon was found useful 
towards preparing them to govern themselves. 
If the relation of master and slave were done 
away in this country, all those kindly feelings 
which now soften its asperity, would perish 
along with it ; those domestic ties, those house- 
hold sympathies which twine the closest of all 
affections around the human heart; which when 
torn away by violence, each ruptured tendril, like 
the shoots that were plucked from the tomb of 
Polydorus, seems to give forth blood : 

Quae prima solo ruptis radicibus arbos 
Vellitur, huic atro liquuntur sanguine guttae. 

In place of these, what would grow up but feel- 
ings of aversion, of suspicion, of jealousy ? By 
what means is it supposed that the unfortunate 
class of emancipated captives, (emancipated only 
in name,) could work out their own reformation 
in a situation such as they would find themselves 
occupying? Are men to be made new crea- 
tures by act of legislature ? Can the moral and 
intellectual man, the only real man, emerge at 
once from the thraldom of hereditary and habitual 
vices, into the freedom of truth and of moral self- 
government ? Or can human wishes change the 



48 

established order of heaven's decree, and of man's 
constitution, whereby his deliverance from the 
dominion of error and of evil is to be wrought 
only by means of sufferings which himself must 
undergo ? Can this be altered, and a different 
mode be devised, less painful and more speedy ? 
Is it likely indeed in the ordinary course of 
human actions, that a special scheme of legislation 
would or ought to be shaped for the particular 
purpose of elevating these people as a distinct 
class among us, when it is apparent that every 
step they make towards the possession of rights 
will be but the hastening of the period when mor- 
tal conflict must come to decide the question of 
supremacy between them and their former mas- 
ters ? For it must be remembered, that amalga- 
mation of colours is a thing not to be thought of 
as an actual event 5 but that if the blacks are to be 
elevated, they must be elevated as a race, distinct 
and separate. Let any one, who is sincerely 
their friend, consider but for a time, the condition 
in which they would be placed by an act of 
general emancipation. I leave out of view all 
thoughts of ultimate danger to both races, and 
direct attention solely to their unfortunate lot — for 
such it would be. Who does not see that their 
freedom would be only nominal ? For my own 
part I doubt not but that many, having accepted 
of emancipation under the impulse of the desire 



49 

of change, after experiencing the evils which they 
must needs suffer if left to themselves, would 
come back voluntarily and beg the protection of 
servitude again. If I know any thing of human 
actions and their principles, I may take it upon 
myself to affirm, that no laws or enactments 
whatsoever could be effectual towards improving 
the condition of these people in this country, if 
their present relations were changed. Their con- 
dition of servitude may doubtless be improved ; for 
it will admit of the growth of many excellent feel- 
ings. This can be done only through the medium 
of the master; the sole medium through which ex- 
ternal influences should operate upon the slave. 
Let him learn the true nature of his responsibility 
and of the duties which grow out of it; remember- 
ing that he has human beings in charge, who are 
designed for something better than to be the mere 
instruments of other men's cupidity ; who have 
good affections in abundance, which may be 
drawn out towards himself especially, and towards 
their fellows in captivity ; whereby the burden of 
toil may be lightened and bondage well nigh lose 
its characteristic of servility. 

Shall we suffer impatience to carry us into 
hasty action, that we may make these people free 
before their lime, as though our enactments could 
alter the established nature of things? A tree 
may be stinted by human means, but its growth 



50 

cannot be accelerated beyond the order of nature. 
Much may indeed be done in co-operation with 
her genial influences ; such as choosing a proper 
situation, affording culture and nourishment. But 
when the plant is set in an unfriendly soil, under 
an unpropitious climate ; when in addition, it is 
so over-shadowed as to be deprived of warmth and 
light from the sun, how ineffectual mast be all 
attempts to rear it up in health and vigour ! Can 
we hope to make an ignorant people enlight- 
ened by our knowledge, and wise by our expe- 
rience ? As well may you expect that a tender 
plant shall be brought at once to maturity by 
infusing into it the sap of a full-grown tree. The 
art of self-government is what every nation must 
learn for itself. The school wherein it is taught 
is no other than that of adversity and suffering ; 
for who will cleave to the good and the true before 
he has known the fatal tendency of the evil and 
the false? The negroes of this country are in 
their first rudiments ; let it not be expected that 
they should become authors before they can read. 
Nor let a mistaken philanthropy bewail their lot, 
and seek to take them too hastily from their course 
of tuition. There may be modifications of dis- 
pensing the discipline ; but it is folly to expect that 
wisdom will come without the toil of learning. 
There can be no complete analogy drawn be- 
tween the slavery which exists in this country, 



51 

and slavery, as it has existed in any other coun- 
try that I can now call to mind. Among the 
Romans, the son of a freedman became a citizen . 
Here emancipation could go on without the dan- 
ger of creating a separate class, who otherwise 
must needs be of the lowest order. The enfran- 
chised were gradually incorporated with the great 
mass of the community, and became an integral 
part thereof, partaking in the general interests. 
But in this country the free blacks must remain 
a distinct class ; their colour is an effectual bar 
against their admittance into social equality, even 
if the idea of former servitude were not repulsive. 
Emancipation would therefore confer upon them 
little benefit ; it would take them from one who 
might be their friend and would throw them 
into a society where all must be their enemies ; it 
would deprive them of a protector without put- 
ting them into a condition of protecting them- 
selves. I speak of them as a people. If political 
rights were granted them, if means were taken 
for extending knowledge among them, the natural 
tendency of such policy would evidently be to 
build up and strengthen a power in the state, 
which would in time become the rival, if not the 
subverter of the constituted authorities. Emanci- 
pation without political rights would be no bless- 
ing to them ; with political rights it would be 
ruinous to ourselves. 



CHAPTER III 



Let us now turn to history, and see how far 
examples will confirm what reason seems to ap- 
prove. We shall here find instances of nations 
over-run and possessed by other nations. We 
shall see that whenever the differences between 
the two sorts of people have been of such a kind 
as to produce strong antipathies, insomuch that 
amalgamation could not take place by means of 
intermarriages, then one of two consequences 
must follow. First : The conquered people are 
reduced to slavery ; or, Secondly : They are re- 
moved from the country by extirpation or expul- 
sion. It will also appear, that in all cases wherein 
a union is effected between two nations, who had 
been strangers to each other, such union has been 
brought about by means of amalgamation or inter- 
marriages. Or in other words, such intermar- 
riages are a necessary condition of a harmonious 
blending, which cannot take place in any other 
way. 



53 

I point you first to the history of the Israelites 
in Egypt. Here had been no bloody wars, or 
long-standing feuds to embitter feelings and give 
inveteracy to animosities. The Israelites had 
come into Egypt at the invitation of the king, 
at a time when one of their own family was his 
chief minister ; they were received with kindness, 
and the finest part of the territory was allotted 
them to inhabit. But the descendants of Jacob 
preserved themselves a peculiar people ; they ad- 
hered to their own customs; they mingled not 
with the surrounding people j and although they 
were doubtless peaceable, attending to their own 
concerns, for there is no hint to the contrary, yet 
Were they a foreign people in the land. They 
were not assimilated with the elements of the 
national body ; they had no feelings of sympathy 
in common with the Egyptians. The result is 
told in a few words : 'Now there arose up another 
king over Egypt which knew not Joseph. And 
he said unto his people, Behold the people of the 
children of Israel are more and mightier than we : 
come on, let us deal wisely with them ; lest they 
multiply, and it come to pass, that when there 
falleth out any war, they join also unto our ene- 
mies, and fight against us, and so get them up out 
of the land. Therefore they did set over them 
task-masters, &c. ,# The lapse of many centuries, 

♦Exodus i. 8—11. 



54 

I presume, has made little alteration in the laWs 
of human nature ; the same course which the 
Egyptians here followed would be adopted now, 
except that political slavery might be substituted 
perhaps in place of personal, or entire extermi- 
nation in preference to either. For in the nature 
of things how could it be otherwise ? 

In the course of events the Israelites were to be 
delivered from this bondage. When they became 
free, do we see them settling down in Egypt? Do 
we find them claiming an equal participation in 
the civil and political affairs of the nation ? Do 
they demand the country of Goshen to be restored 
to them, which was indeed their right, for their 
ancestors held it by virtue of an especial grant 
from the crown ? Nothing of all these ; on the 
contrary, the first day of their liberation from bon- 
dage was the first of their pilgrimage to Canaan. 
How were it possible that they should dwell hap- 
pily in the land of their servitude, with every 
thing around them to recall the memory of their 
degradation ? How could they sit down, side by 
side, with those who had been their oppressors ; 
with whom they could not harmonize in thoughts, 
feelings, or habits ? 

If the Egyptians had been willing to admit their 
former bondsmen into an equality of political 
privileges, and if the latter had desired it, is it 



55 

likely that this participation would have been a 
bond of union, a friendly harmonizer, a something 
in common wherein sympathy might arise, that 
should become a principle of coalescence and 
peace 1 Alas, it would have been but a ground 
of contest, an arena for strife, a means of giving 
subsistence and form and durability to their feel- 
ings of mutual hostility. For how could they 
exercise these powers in common who had no 
feelings in common, nor objects, nor hopes? We 
see even in the best regulated states, how ques- 
tions of political interest cause dissensions among 
people of kindred blood, of the same colour, who 
are bound together by a thousand ties, and consti- 
tute one community. How could harmony sub- 
sist between parties marked by national distinc- 
tions, arrayed compactly the one against the other, 
like armies upon a field of battle, a mutual 
repugnance already pre-existing which prevents 
the least approach towards union ; and most of 
all, when it is apparent that the prevalence of the 
one party must cause the ruin of the other. For 
their particular aims are so diverse, that both 
cannot succeed at once. 

In order that they might enjoy their newly 
acquired freedom in peace, it was therefore neces- 
sary that the children of Israel should seek some 
other country. When they were about to take 
possession of the land of Canaan, which was 



56 

already occupied by a rude and barbarous people, 
we do not see them entering upon negotiations or 
making treaties with those tribes. Nor when the 
invaders had gained some victories by force of 
arms, and had made good a lodgment in the coun- 
try, do we find them making use of these advan- 
tages to procure for themselves favourable condi- 
tions, and thereupon establishing themselves con- 
jointly with the native inhabitants. It often hap- 
pens, as will be shown hereafter, that a victorious 
nation after overrunning a country, settle down 
quietly with the conquered, and both soon come to 
form one people. But here nothing less than utter 
extermination could give security and permanence 
to the new government which was about to set 
up its institutions in a strange land. May not the 
reason be seen in this, that the two nations were 
too far asunder ever to be united? The chief 
cause of this repugnance was religious faith. The 
institutions of the Israelitish government were 
imbued throughout with the spirit of their own 
theology, which would admit of no compromise 
with the idolatry of the native pagans. Hence 
there could be no intermarriages : and of conse- 
quence no peaceful communion of political powers. 
Will it be said to all these illustrations which 
are drawn from the history of the Jewish nation, 
that they were a people under the direct guidance 
of heaven; that the events of their fortune were 



57 

all directed to a particular end by special Divine 
interference ; that miracles were wrought at almost 
every step of their progress ; that they were indeed 
mere involuntary subjects of a superior will, which 
ordered and conducted their affairs; and that, from 
these considerations, their example is not appli- 
cable to human transactions in general; that no 
principles of universal policy are to be deduced 
from their history 1 For myself, I prefer to con- 
sider all true principles as being in harmony with 
that Supreme nature from whence comes all truth 
of whatsoever kind, and that His direct interfe- 
rence, so far from invalidating, will but give ad- 
ditional confirmation to those rational deductions 
which are drawn from the experience of things. 
I cannot allow myself to believe that violence was 
done to the freedom of human action, in any par- 
ticular of the Divine administration over the con- 
cerns of that people ; but rather that all his dispen- 
sations were accommodated to the nature of man, 
to the capacity of the subjects, and to the conditions 
of their situation. There is doubtless a spiritual 
meaning contained in the history of every event 
that is recorded by Moses, and it is generally ac- 
knowledged that the whole progress of the Israel- 
ites, from first to last, is intended as an emblem of 
spiritual things. Especially is it a type or picture 
of man's progress in moral reformation. But in 
the language of Paul : 'the word of God is not 
6* 



58 

bound.'* It is capable of unlimited application in 
the harmony of truth ; and all principles genuine- 
ly derived, that bear upon the nature of man, 
whether in a political aspect, or in his individual 
relations, may find confirmation therein. Why 
then should we not derive from the inspired his- 
tory of these remarkable people all the instruction 
which we can find in the same, both for our own 
personal improvement, and also for political wis- 
dom, with an humble seeking after truth, that we 
may understand aright ? 

I have already alluded to the history of the 
Moors and Spaniards, wherein the same principle 
is illustrated, viz : That two distinct races, so 
far unlike that amalgamation is impossible, cannot 
dwell harmoniously together in the same com- 
munity, unless the one be in a state of servi- 
tude to the other. Here, also, difference in reli- 
gious faith was the chief cause of mutual disso- 
ciation. It would seem, at first view, that this 
would be the last cause of variance between peo- 
ple, for religion teaches mutual forbearance and 
sincere good will. In the Mahometan doctrines, 
and among enlightened pagans, these principles 
are found. Yet it will appear that in proportion 
to the value we set upon any thing is the jealousy 
with which we watch over it. Hence religion 

• 2 Tim. ii. 9. 



59 

which involves the highest considerations of 
human happiness, has in all ages been the occa- 
sion of the most obstinate contentions. These 
strifes have doubtless been aggravated, if not exci- 
ted, by the apprehensions which were felt, lest the 
predominance of a foreign sect should endanger 
the acknowledged doctrines of the national faith. 
When the benign spirit of true religion shall pre- 
vail over the earth, we may with reason believe 
that such contests will cease ; for they derive their 
chief aliment from the human passions, which 
being mingled with truths, pervert the same. Yet 
in the pure state of human society the distinct- 
ness of different nations will doubtless be pre- 
served. For each community, following instinc- 
tively the natural laws of sympathy, which unite 
like with like, will fall peaceably, each into its 
own sphere, and there will be no violent attempts 
made, either by ambition or by fanaticism, to 
force unions where the voice of nature has pro- 
nounced the decree of mutual divorcement. 

But it is manifest that other causes of diffe- 
rence, besides those that spring from dissimilarity 
of religious doctrines, may occasion reciprocal 
repugnance between nations of different origin 
and habits, if an attempt is made to blend them 
into one. For it is in this particular, as it is in 
physics. There is in all substances an essential 
quality which philosophers call impenetrability; 



60 

whereby the space which is occupied by one body 
cannot be held at the same time by another. The 
occupancy of one excludes all others. So, when 
a nation is homogeneously and compactly formed, 
insomuch that it becomes an individual, the law 
of its own being, perpetually repels all foreign 
bodies from invading its integrity. It may indeed 
assimilate foreign elements to itself, as J have 
already illustrated by the analogy of grafting a 
strange shoot upon a mature stock. But all 
accretions from external sources must become 
blended into one nature, by the transfusion of the 
essential spirit. When a blending of this sort 
cannot take place, by reason of repulsion, then 
union is impossible. 

Let me direct you to another illustration, with 
which religion has nothing to do. When the 
Saxons invaded Britain, and finding the country 
to be better than their own, wished to take pos- 
session of it, they saw in the original inhabitants 
of the island a people not differing greatly from 
themselves, so far as civilization or religion was 
concerned. It would seem to us, that it had not 
been a difficult matter for the two nations to settle 
down together ; the land was thinly peopled ; 
the government undefined, except by traditional 
usages; each tribe was in a measure independent; 
society seemed indeed to be nearly in its original 
elements, before arts, laws, and national interests 



61 

had given unity, firmness and individuality, along 
with that rigidity of parts which belongs to old 
established nations. In all probability this union 
would have followed, if the supremacy of the 
Saxons had been achieved in the usual manner of 
such conquests. But we are told that they were 
invited over at first as friends ; that they came in 
such guise, and no doubt with friendly intentions, 
expecting no other compensation for their services 
than such plunder as might fall to their share in 
case of success, or such remuneration as their 
allies should make them, according to stipulations 
either formally agreed upon, or mutually under- 
stood. The first step however, in the acquisition of 
Britain by the Saxons was marked by a breach of 
faith. Having driven off the Picts and Scots, for 
which purpose they had been summoned, they 
now became more formidable enemies than the 
barbarians of the north had ever been. For having 
helped their allies, they next turned to help them- 
selves, and seized upon the land which they had 
undertaken to protect. This flagrant injustice 
roused the indignation of the deceived victims ; and 
gave life and animosity to all the usual feelings of 
national repugnance. Henceforth there could be 
no confidence between the parties, and as a conse- 
quence, no friendly amalgamation. The conquest, 
carried on by fire, and sword, and horrible barbari- 
ties, was finally consummated by utter extermina- 
tion ; none of the native Britons escaped, except 



62 

such as found refuge in the mountainous region of 
Wales, whither the invaders cared not to pursue. 
Upon this foundation was erected the Saxon 
government in Britain ; to such a beginning there 
could be no other end, that might combine secu- 
rity with possession. 

Will it be said that this reciprocal hostility was 
caused and kept alive by continued acts of aggres- 
sion ; that a state of open war existed ; and that 
the Britons only manifested the natural resolution 
of a people who were determined to maintain 
their independence ? And from this will it be 
urged, that the example affords no illustration of 
the condition which a southern state would be in, 
if her slaves were made citizens? You will 
understand, I am sure, my dear sir, that I refer to 
this illustration to show the truth of the principle, 
that when two nations are so dissimilar, or feel 
the one towards the other such mutual aversion, 
that a friendly amalgamation cannot take place by 
means of intermarriages, these two nations cannot 
dwell harmoniously together in the same com- 
munity. If this reciprocal hostility exist, it mat- 
ters not much from what particular causes it 
sprung; whether from dissimilarity of national 
manners and habits, so great as to create aversion 
on both sides, heightened by difference of lan- 
guage, such as would repel two christian nations, 
English and Spanish, for example : or from diffe- 



63 

rence of religion combined with the other, in 
which case the repulsion would be stronger, a3 
between English, for example, and Turks ; or from 
difference of colour, along with differences in 
degrees of civilization, the one people being refin- 
ed, the other barbarous ; and this the more, when 
one race had lately been in servitude to the other; 
as would be the case, for example, between our 
own citizens and the blacks of this country. Or 
the fixed aversion may be caused by outrageous 
violations of faith, showing a settled purpose of 
oppression, and giving evidence of little safety 
under such domination 5 as was the case in the 
instance of the Saxons and Britons, just referred 
to. Or it may follow from traditionary enmities 
and feelings of national rivalship, transmitted from 
age to age, until they have become woven into 
the national character ; as was the case between 
England and Scotland in the reign of Edward I. 
when that prince attempted the conquest of the 
Scots, after having duped them, in pretending to 
interpose as a friend to setttle their differences. 
The country was over-run at least three times; all 
opposition was put down and the conquest seemed 
to be finished. But it could not have been effect- 
ed except by the destruction of the great body of 
the Scottish people. In short, this repugnance 
may arise from any causes that destroy confi- 



64 

dence, or that prevent the flow of sympathy upon 
something like terms of equality. 

When Edward III. had gained possession of 
Calais, and wished to affix that town permanently 
to his kingdom, he removed all the French inha- 
bitants and peopled it anew with English. Mr. 
Hume speaks of this measure, as one that evinces 
the wisdom of that able monarch; and it may 
serve to show the reason why Calais remained for 
two hundred years in possession of England, 
while her other acquisitions in France, consisting 
of many provinces and of towns almost innumera- 
ble, fell one by one from her grasp. 

I go on to another illustration which is now 
before our own eyes. When English colonists 
arrived on these shores, they found the country 
occupied by an aboriginal race, peculiar in their 
customs and but little advanced in the arts of 
civilized life. In most of the New England settle- 
ments, continual wars were carried on between 
the colonists and the Indians; in Penn's colony of 
Pennsylvania, the two races dwelt side by side 
peaceably for many years. In neither case was 
there any approach towards coalescence, either civil 
or social ; in both, the entire removal of the one 
people was a necessary condition to the growth of 
the other. I presume, the distinction is not more 
strongly marked between the two races of Anglo- 
Saxon and aboriginal Americans, than between the 



65 

first named, and the African negroes. If between 
either two there be found the fewer obstacles in 
the way of a peaceful blending, the distinction 
would seem to be in favour of the native Indians. 
We could approach them upon terms nearer equa- 
lity ; there are no degrading associations of servi- 
tude connected with them, for they have ever 
been an independent race. The example which 
was set by Mr. Rolfe, in Virginia, was not indeed 
generally followed by the colonists of Jamestown ; 
but, so far from incurring odium, that gentleman 
was thought to be rather honoured than other- 
wise, by an alliance with an Indian princess ; and 
the descendants of Pocahontas are to this day, 
reckoned among the most respectable people of 
Virginia. Nor would it occasion revulsion in the 
general feelings of the community if a similar 
marriage should take place now. I need not ask, 
would disgust and universal abhorrence be with- 
held at the consummation of an intermarriage 
between a respectable gentleman on the one part 
and a negro woman on the other? What is the 
inference from all this ? The white men and the 
red men could not unite peaceably in friendly 
coalescence. They differed too widely ; they could 
not assimilate together. But do the whites and 
blacks differ less? Nay, does it not appear that 
the repelling power is greater, which must ever 
keep them apart from a union of common and 
7 



GQ 

equal citizenship? The Indians, it may be said, 
could not be made citizens, by reason of their 
wandering habits and fondness for a wild kind of 
life. Is the restless activity of the Indian a greater 
disqualification than the torpid indolence of the 
negro ? With a disposition on our part to receive 
the native tribes into our political society (for how 
many efforts have been made to reclaim them !) 
it has been found to be impossible. What like- 
lihood is there that a purpose of a similar kind 
could be effected between the whites and blacks, 
when feelings of disgust are excited at the bare 
mention of it? 

It is common with some to consider these anti- 
pathies as the effect of prejudice from which the 
benevolent spirit of Christianity ought to deliver 
us. Let us not be deceived. Let us not expect 
from Christianity, what it was never intended to 
effect. The truths of that sublime faith conjoined 
with its pure spirit, when they are received into 
the understanding and heart, do indeed change 
the will, and expel the evil affections of our 
selfish nature. But the constitution of the mind 
remains much the same. The character of a 
man, or his internal being, is made up of the ele- 
ments of social life, knowledge, feelings, preju- 
dices in the midst of which he is reared. These 
he imbibes, and they are fashioned within him 
according to his disposition or temperament. They 



67 

become blended with his nature; they are his con- 
stitution. By these all the manifestations of his 
active powers will be modified. A Mahometan if 
converted to Christianity, although imbued with its 
genuine spirit, would yet be a different character 
in species, from one who was born and reared in 
a christian community, and penetrated in an equal 
degree with the christian spirit. Why is it that 
the Laplander or an inhabitant of Greenland loves 
his native hills of snow and ice, and prefers his 
smoky hut before the beauties of warmer climates 
and the refinements of luxury in civilized coun- 
tries ? Why is it that the Indian of the woods 
pines amid the splendour of cities, and turns 
with a longing heart towards the dark forest and 
hunting grounds '\ If we judge according to our 
ideas of the convenient and the beautiful, such 
men would seem to be almost insane. We could 
not understand them : we should doubt their sin- 
cerity. Yet the love of the beautiful, of the 
convenient, is in them as well as in us ; but it 
manifests itself according to the nature of those 
elements with which it is embodied in their own 
minds. How unjust should we be to call upon 
them to put away their prejudices, as we might 
call them ! They could not admire in outward 
objects what we admire ; our green fields, our fer- 
tile valleys, our limped streams, and shady groves; 
for there would be no associations in their minds 



68 

wherewith to blend them with delight. Their 
childhood was passed amid different objects ; and 
many of their most pleasing recollections are 
mingled with the ideas of snows, and ice, and 
wild forests, and the like, which we regard with 
feelings not of pleasure. They might complain 
of our antipathies, with as much justice as we 
would have in contemning theirs. 

The southern man has been reared in a society 
of which slavery formed a distinguished feature ; 
he grows up with all the associations that are 
natural to such a state. With these his earliest 
feelings and thoughts are tinctured. If by the ex- 
ercise of an enlightened understanding he comes, 
in after life, to perceive, what he has not before 
thought of, that slavery is an evil, he may be will- 
ing, nay anxious to assist in putting it away. To 
see those unfortunate people free and happy, in a 
condition where such blessings might be perma- 
nent, would be to him a source of purest joy. To 
this end, he would be willing to make sacrifices ; 
he would labour zealously and in good faith. But 
to be willing to receive them into political equa- 
lity, or into social communion, to join in personal 
alliances, would, in my judgment, instead of 
showing a just spirit of benevolence, manifest a 
total disorganization of the elements of a health- 
ful character. So far from rising in good esteem, 



69 

a man of such disposition would be regarded with 
distrust ; with something very near akin to loath- 
ing ; as one who had no stability, no consistency, 
no self-subsistence, no fixed principles. 



CHAPTER IV. 



Let us now turn to some examples of history, 
wherein different nations are shown to have coa- 
lesced. It will be found, I think, in every case to 
which reference may be made, in any history, 
either ancient or modern, that amalgamation by 
intermarriages has been an indispensable condi- 
tion of such harmonious union. Whenever the 
national aversion on each side was so strong as to 
prevent intermarriages, no matter by what means 
this feeling of aversion was thus heightened 
beyond mere antipathy, which is natural against 
a close approximation with foreigners — whenever 
it existed, I say, to such degree as to prevent 
intermarriages, no union has taken place \ the 
two races have lived in mortal strife, if brought 
close to each other ; and no peace could subsist 
between them. On the other hand it will be 
found, that when national prejudices have been 
carefully softened by the prudent management of 
some wise ruler, insomuch that intermarriages 



71 

went on between the different races ; it has hap- 
pened in gradual process of time, that the several 
peculiarities of each have been lost in the common 
interfusion. So universally has this characteristic 
marked all conjunctions of different communities, 
that it might save time to ask, not what are the 
examples in which this mark is to be found, but 
where is there one that has it not? In all records, 
annals, traditions ; among all nations, tongues, 
tribes, clans, or communities, of any sort whatso- 
ever; in all climates, whether torrid, temperate? 
or frigid ; in all diversities of local situation, 
whether upon rivers, or in islands of the sea, in 
plains, or upon mountains; in all degrees of 
human refinement, or of human barbarity, from 
the cannibal hordes of New Zealand to the polish- 
ed community of Athens in the days of Pericles ; 
under any circumstances, whether of commotion, 
or tranquillity, of poverty or wealth, or in any 
other condition, wherein freedom of action was 
at all to be found, I demand that one instance 
be shown, wherein two different races of men, 
in any degree approximating towards numerical 
equality, have united peaceably together in one 
community of citizenship, without having become 
cemented at the same time by means of mutual 
intermarriages. 

The Romans received the Sabines into their 
city; one hundred new senators, patres conscripti, 



72 

were chosen from among the strangers to sit in 
the common councils of the state, along with the 
original patres ; the citizens of the two nations 
enjoyed all political privileges in common. But 
the Romans had taken Sabine wives before this 
union was brought about. So complete and har- 
monious was the amalgamation, that the name of 
Sabine was, in time, no more heard of; they 
became one people, having one language, one 
constitution, one country. 

When Alexander had overthrown the empire of 
Darius, and wished to unite his vast territories 
into one body, his first step was to take to wife 
Roxana, of the imperial family of Persia; he 
adopted the Persian dress, and caused his grandee3 
to do the same; he received into his body guard 
many of the Persian youth, and studied to do 
away all distinctions between the nations. Here 
however, the conquered country was not required 
to receive strangers into its bosom ; the different 
communities were not brought into near contact : 
the several provinces were allowed to retain their 
own laws, and in many cases, their former rulers. 
If then, it was found to be proper to bind even this 
loose connection by the bonds of intermarriages, 
how indispensable must the same provision be, 
when two nations are to dwell together within the 
limits of the same territory ? 

The Romans held most of their conquered pro- 



73 

Tinces by force of arms. They made no attempt 
to occupy their extensive territories by settlements 
of native Romans among the original inhabitants ; 
nor did they seek to subvert the laws and institu- 
tions of the nations which they subdued. Such 
was the overawing influence of the Roman name, 
that foreign states sought shelter by owning alle- 
giance, and found protection to be an equivalent 
for the loss of independence. But when this great 
empire began to fall asunder, and to sink under 
the inundation which rolled in successive torrents 
from the north, there is seen a different system of 
conquest. The barbarians who now swarmed over 
the south of Europe, were disposed to occupy 
the countries they subdued ; and here we may find 
fit illustrations of our principle. Do we find it 
happen in any one instance, that the Gothic con- 
querors and the subdued people remain, each dis- 
tinct, retaining their respective languages, manners 
and customs, yet participating in the same politi- 
cal government? Did they not speedily become 
one people, each race mutually giving and receiv- 
ing of their several peculiarities? Are not the 
languages of European nations at this day perfect 
specimens of such blending? It is, perhaps, use- 
less to dwell upon so plain a thing, yet specific 
examples are not wanting. When Alaric, king 
of one of the invading nations, had gained posses- 
sion of large territories on the border of Italy, and 



74 

formed a treaty with Honorius, emperor of the 
West, he received in marriage the sister of that 
monarch. When Clovis over-ran Gaul, his first 
act was to unite himself in marriage with Clotilda, 
daughter of the native Burgundian prince ; by 
which means he acquired possession of that pro- 
vince; and what was a still more important con- 
sequence, he was converted to the christian faith 
by the influence of his queen, who had embraced 
that religion. In pursuance of the same wise 
policy, Clovis took care to have the bishops of 
the new church, selected from among the native 
Gauls, which was a great step towards removing 
national differences. 

William, duke of Normandy, effected the con- 
quest of England. He treated the Saxons as a 
conquered people, in consequence whereof his 
government was nothing other than a rule of 
force. Under his son, William Rufus, the same 
policy was pursued, and much bitterness existed 
between the different classes of his Norman and 
Saxon subjects. When Henry I. usurped the 
throne, he married Matilda, daughter of Edgar 
Atheling, of the royal Saxon line, and by means 
of this politic act, together with no mean abilities 
of his own, he was enabled to maintain his seat 
in despite of Robert, his elder brother, who was 
the rightful heir to the crown. The dissensions 
between Normans and Saxons in England sub- 



75 

sided in proportion as this example was followed 
throughout the kingdom. 

I know not that there is any need of dwelling 
longer on this topic. There is however one other 
illustration,, which might have been brought forth 
in the list of those examples of nations that were 
too far dissociated ever to unite., and who of con- 
sequence could not participate together in political 
matters. It may however be none the worse for 
coming in here, inasmuch as it is especially appli- 
cable, more than any other example in history, to 
our particular concerns : the parties being similar 
to those that now occupy the southern portion of 
this country, viz : whites and blacks. An advo- 
cate of the abolition doctrines thus speaks in refer- 
ring to the disturbances of St. Domingo, 'The 
apologists of slavery are constantly reminding abo- 
litionists of the 'scenes of St. Domingo.' Were 
the public familiar with the origin and history of 
those scenes, none but abolitionists would dare to 
refer to them.' * I give the 'origin and history' 
in the words of this writer. 

'In 1790 the population of the French part of 
St. Domingo was estimated at 686,000. Of this 
number 42,000 were whites, 44,000 free people of 
colour, and 600,000 slaves. At the commence- 
ment of the French revolution the free coloured 

♦Jay's Inquiry, p. 171-2 



76 

people petitioned the National Assembly to be 
admitted to political rights, and sent a deputation 
to Paris to attend to their interests. On the 8th 
of March, 1790, a law was passed granting to the 
colonies the right of holding representative as- 
semblies, and of exercising to a certain extent 
legislative authority. On the 28th of the same 
month, another law was passed, declaring that all 
free persons in the colonies, who were proprietors 
and residents of two years standing, and who con- 
tributed to the exigencies of the state should exer- 
cise the right of voting. 

The planters insisted that this law did not apply 
to free coloured persons. They proceeded to elect 
a General Assembly, and in this election the free 
blacks were, with but few exceptions, prevented 
from voting. The newly elected assembly issued 
a manifesto, declaring they would rather die than 
divide their political rights with 'a bastard and 
degenerated race.' A portion of the free coloured 
people resolved to maintain the rights given them 
by the mother country, and assembled in arms 
under one of their number, named Oge.' 

It is not my purpose to speculate concerning 
the merits of this question, nor attempt an inter- 
pretation of the act of the French National As- 
sembly. It is enough to know that not any act of 
that Assembly, or of any other legislative body, 
could have brought about a harmonious participa- 



77 

tion of political privileges between these parties. 
I believe it would not be easy to find a more com- 
plete illustration, than may be found here, of the 
proposition which I have been endeavouring to 
set forth. Here are two distinct races nearly equal 
in numbers, the whites amounting to 42,000, the 
free blacks to 44,000 ; they are disjoined by differ- 
ences of colour, of blood, of condition ; they are 
animated, the one towards the other, by all those 
feelings of antipathy which are natural to such 
dissimilitude. What makes it more adapted to 
our purpose, one class had been in a state of ser- 
vitude to the other. Could a more exact picture 
be drawn of what would in all likelihood be our 
condition, if the mad attempt should be made of 
introducing negroes to an equality of political 
rights in some one of the cotton-growing states ? 
Who does not see that the French population 
of St. Domingo were only following the natural 
instinct of self-preservation in thus resisting all 
demands of the other race in the way of admit- 
tance to citizenship ? Could they have harmo- 
nized together in the public councils ? Would 
their objects have been the same or in any way pa- 
rallel? From the vast body of six hundred thous- 
and slaves would there have been no accessions to 
the free coloured party, which was already superior 
in number by two thousand ? Or would not the 
first act of legislation have been a decree of univer- 
8 



78 

sal emancipation, when by such measure the ques- 
tion of predominance would have been settled at 
once ? And what would have followed this, but 
the utter extermination of all who were of Euro- 
pean origin? What does Mr. Jay mean, when he 
says f if the public were familiar with the history 
and origin of those scenes, none but abolitionists 
would dare to refer to them T Does he mean to 
applaud the efforts of the blacks in thus seizing 
upon what they deemed their rights? Does he 
regard the subsequent horrors and butcheries that 
closed the dreadful catastrophe, in the banishment 
or murder of a whole race, in the plunder of pro- 
perty, in the wildest rage of licentious and bloody 
passions, does he regard all these as the fit awards 
of retributive justice ? And are we to believe that 
he would behold with equal satisfaction a similar 
scene in this country ? Why none but aboli- 
tionists dare refer to them ? Is it from this pic- 
ture of horrors that the abolitionists draw their 
elements of the sublime and beautiful in political 
morality ? Can none but abolitionists dare refer 
to them, lest they be struck with tenor at the 
apprehension of a like calamity at home? What 
means he ? Or what means he not ? I wish he 
had not used such words. 

The negro slaves of the British West Indies 
have been emancipated, some on condition of 
serving out an apprenticeship ; others, I believe., 



79 

without such condition. In neither case have dis- 
turbances followed. It is usual to point to this 
example as a fact which overturns all theories 
concerning the ultimate fatal effects of emancipa- 
tion in this country. 

There is nothing surprising in this, that a race 
naturally indolent, having few inducements to 
exertion, should sit down in repose after being 
released from extorted toil. They are not a peo- 
ple who can appreciate freedom, except as it 
affords exemption from labour : they have little of 
that inward ardour which springs from a con- 
sciousness of intellectual or moral power ; which 
prompts to enterprise ; which delights in activity ; 
which pants after independence. The casting off 
of their fetters has not made them freemen ; al- 
though it may be a step towards it. But in pro- 
cess of time, when the pleasures of indolence have 
.been enjoyed to satiety, a spirit of activitv may 
come into play. Gradually there will arise a bet- 
ter class among the blacks, who will possess pro- 
perty : and along with it a sense of self-respect, 
and a consciousness of new rights. They will 
claim to have a part in the public affairs; they 
will demand an equal participation in the rights 
of suffrage and ot legislation. Then the contest 
ivill begin. Who may not see the issue of it? It 
requires not any great amount of prophetic vision 
to disrern that at some period, how distant 



80 

know not, the scenes of St. Domingo will be 
re-acted on the plains of Jamaica. I look by the 
light of reason and experience. There may be, 
however, secondary causes at work of which I am 
ignorant, that shall produce a different result. 
For example, amalgamation of colours may go 
on to such a degree that the individuality of the 
European stock may be diffused throughout a 
hundred different complexions and shades, in such 
a manner as to be well nigh lost. In such case 
the ascendency of the blacks may be peaceable. 
But every indication at present points to the final 
predominance of that colour. Whether it be 
effected by violence, or by gradual course of amal- 
gamation, must depend upon many circumstances. 
Or this result of things in their natural course 
may be anticipated. It would require not many 
of our modern philanthropists to bring about a 
speedier consummation. Let the ignorant negroes 
be indoctrinated with notions of the rights of man ; 
let them be taught that all men are equal ; that 
those who once held them in bondage, and who 
now reside among them in splendour, are their 
oppressors, proud aristocrats, who live upon other 
men's earnings ; above all, let them be instructed 
to know, that by union and a concentration of 
their strength, they may enjoy the plunder of the 
whole land ; that this will be nothing more than 
the reclaiming of their rightful property, and the 



81 

restoring of things to their proper equality ; let 
these doctrines be infused into depraved minds, to 
the arousing of dormant passions, giving stability, 
pretext, aim ; the issue will be a thing not to be 
spoken of prophetically, but to be gazed upon 
with horror. 

I do not presume that any violent commotions 
would immediately follow an act of general eman- 
cipation in this country ; that is, if foreign influ- 
ences could be kept away. But the results of 
things are not less sure by being more distant. 
When the tendency is apparent, who need be in 
doubt concerning the end ? 

That I may not in any manner misrepresent the 
meaning of abolitionists, let me here quote again 
from Mr. Jay. After denying the charge of pro- 
posing to bring about an amalgamation by means 
of intermarriages, he says : 'But, most true it is, 
that the Anti-slavery society avows its intentions 
to labour for the civil and religious equality of the 
blacks. It has been found expedient to accuse it 
of aiming also at their social equality.' This charge 
he rejects, and proceeds to illustrate his meaning 
in this manner : i We all know white men whose 
characters and habits render them repulsive to us, 
and whom no consideration would induce us 1o 
admit into our social circles ; and can it be be- 
lieved, that abolitionists are willing to extend to 
negroes, merely on account of their colour, cour- 
8* 



82 

tesies and indulgences which in innumerable in- 
stances, they withhold and properly withhold from 
their white fellow-citizens ? But who pretends 
that because a man is so disagreeable in his man- 
ners and person, that we refuse to associate with 
him, that therefore, he ought to be denied the 
right of suffrage, the privilege of choosing his 
trade and profession, the opportunities of acquir- 
ing knowledge, and the liberty of pursuing his 
own happiness V 

I need hardly remind you, my dear sir, of what 
I am sure you know well enough, that touching 
the subject of this discourse, I am not considering 
the blacks as individuals, but as a race. If they 
were but a handful scattered throughout the wide 
expanse of a white population, a few here and a 
few there, what reasonable man would wish to 
debar them from the rights of citizenship ? For 
they could then have no separate purposes of 
their own apart from the general interest ; they 
could not act as a distinct body; their influence 
would be as nothing. But how different is the 
question which we are now considering ! A large 
population equal in number to the whites, and in 
some states perhaps superior; prolific of increase ; 
of a different blood and complexion ; bound by no 
sympathy, but rather disposed (as they would be 
most certainly when raised to political equality,) 
to look with hatred and jealousy upon those who 



83 

had once held them in bondage — a population like 
this to be introduced into an organized community 
for the purpose of taking part in its government- 
is this a small matter ? 

How absurd is the distinction which this writer 
attempts to draw between political equality and 
social equality, granting the one and withholding 
the other ! What is the end of political power 
except to secure social advantages ? The first use 
of political predominance, will it not be to estab- 
lish predominance in every thing ? 

There are indeed in the bosom of every com- 
munity, 'men whose characters and habits render 
them repulsive to us, and whom no consideration 
would induce us to admit into our social circles.' 
Let us suppose that this class becomes the most 
numerous in a state ; that they are bound together 
by a common interest, by some sympathetic bond 
which excludes all minor differences, causing 
them to move together as one man ; that they are 
inflamed with bitter animosity against the indus- 
trious, the intelligent, the wealthy, whom they 
stigmatize as aristocrats, monopolists, the oppres- 
sive class that grind the faces of the poor, or by 
any other opprobious name. Will no dissensions 
arise in a state of society like this ? Will these 
men, not admitted to social equality, but possessed 
of full political privileges, remain quiet and peace- 
able ? Will they submit to that social superiority 



84 

and rest contented with their political rights? 
What would their political rights be, in their esti- 
mation, but a mere name, unless they were used 
to gain their favourite purposes? And what 
would those purposes be, but a complete over- 
throw of existing institutions, the subversion of 
all order, the violation of all rights? 

Let any one look at the manner in which revo- 
lutions in governments are brought about, if he 
would see an illustration of this principle. In 
France, for example, the lower orders had taken 
little or no part in the public affairs. The nobility 
and the monarchy were the prominent powers in 
the constitution ; and seeking their own aggran- 
dizement, they had oppressed the people greatly, 
insomuch that all community of interests or feel- 
ings had been in a measure destroyed. A sense 
of common injury had united together the great 
mass of the nation ; had concentrated their aims ; 
had caused them to discover in the higher classes 
a common enemy. When political privileges 
were extended to the people by Louis XVI. and 
they were empowered to exercise the right of suf- 
frage in choosing a National Assembly, did they 
remain contented with this participation in the 
general affairs of the kingdom ? Did they recog- 
nize the distinction which this writer has drawn 
between political and social equality ? They did 
indeed make many new discoveries in politics and 



85 

in morals, but this appears to have escaped them 
in the wildest frenzy of their madness. 

There are in this country different sects and 
religious denominations. They seem to move 
along harmoniously enough ; they exercise politi- 
cal rights in common ; and social communion is 
not interrupted. The reason is very obvious, 
inasmuch as no one sect has cause of dread from 
the interference of another. No one party claims 
to direct ; all are parts of a whole \ each in its 
sphere finds no obstacle from a neighbour. But if 
the whole country were divided into two great 
sects, whereof one was predominant, and exer- 
cised its influence in controlling the affairs of 
government, as would certainly be the case, how 
different then would be the state of things? One 
has need only to look into Burnet's history of his 
own times, to see such a condition fully set forth, 
in the accounts of what followed king Charles' 
attempt to introduce Episcopal church govern- 
ment in Scotland. What dissensions, what vio- 
lence, what bitter animosity, what persecutions, 
what bloodshed ! 

Let us not lose sight of the principle. If the 
black population, I repeat, were few in numbers, 
and hence little disposed to aspire after the direct- 
ing power, no harm would be likely to follow from 
their admission to political rights. They would 
then conform themselves to existing laws, and 



86 

would desire nothing more. But when they as- 
sume the station of an equal power in the com- 
munity, and of consequence, a rival power — for 
their aims and interests as a body could in no 
manner blend consistently with those of the con- 
stituted authorities — who does not see that the 
whole question is changed 2 

The foregoing considerations, I am persuaded, 
are such as would come naturally into the minds 
of most persons who would give themselves to 
reflect upon this subject. It would seem, there- 
fore, to be of little use thus to set them forth ; and 
to insist upon propositions which sensible men 
would generally admit. But there is no presump- 
tion in saying that much delusion prevails con- 
cerning these things. I have already alluded to 
one class of well-meaning persons, who, believ- 
ing that much injustice has been done towards 
the coloured people by holding them in slavery, 
are now in a hurry to recompense them ; this 
one idea seems to have taken possession of their 
minds; they stop not to examine, to consider, to 
provide. They view one part of the subject, and 
believe that to be the whole. They do not remem- 
ber that the blacks who were brought to this coun- 
try were slaves before — slaves to barbarous savages 
of their own colour ; that so far from suffering 
loss, they were indeed gainers by the exchange; 
and were perhaps saved from death by their trans- 
portation hither. 



87 

Others there are, who indulge in a course of rea- 
soning which is exceedingly dangerous, being the 
basis of all fanaticism, whereby general truths 
and abstract maxims are made to afford counte- 
nance to the wildest and most fatal schemes. 
General terms are made to comprehend all parti- 
culars ; and conclusions are drawn from words 
which are widely at variance from things. Thus, 
much discourse is had concerning the rights of 
man ; as though the term man embraced univer- 
sal humanity in all varieties, whether of barbarism 
or improvement ; in all conditions of society ; all 
forms of government ; all habits, manners, reli- 
gions. The word man does indeed denote a large 
species ; the highest in the scale of animal nature ; 
and so far as animal nature is concerned, the term 
is definite enough. For in degrees of bodily 
strength, in appetites, in outward form and pro- 
portion, men differ not greatly. In all reasonings 
concerning physical nature, there need be little 
misapplication of the name. 

But how vague does this word become when 
we speak of men in regard to their moral and 
intellectual attributes; when we treat of their 
rights as intelligent beings, and of their several 
relations, social, civil and religious ! The inward 
nature of man is capable of indefinite expansion ; 
for it is capable of communion with a Divine 
nature, from whose inexhaustible fullness it may 



86 

would desire nothing more. But when they as- 
sume the station of an equal power in the com- 
munity, and of consequence, a rival power — for 
their aims and interests as a body could in no 
manner blend consistently with those of the con- 
stituted authorities — who does not see that the 
whole question is changed 1 

The foregoing considerations, I am persuaded, 
are such as would come naturally into the minds 
of most persons who would give themselves to 
reflect upon this subject. It would seem, there- 
fore, to be of little use thus to set them forth ; and 
to insist upon propositions which sensible men 
would generally admit. But there is no presump- 
tion in saying that much delusion prevails con- 
cerning these things. I have already alluded to 
one class of well-meaning persons, who, believ- 
ing that much injustice has been done towards 
the coloured people by holding them in slavery, 
are now in a hurry to recompense them ; this 
one idea seems to have taken possession of their 
minds; they stop not to examine, to consider, to 
provide. They view one part of the subject, and 
believe that to be the whole. They do not remem- 
ber that the blacks who were brought to this coun- 
try were slaves before — slaves to barbarous savages 
of their own colour ; that so far from suffering 
loss, they were indeed gainers by the exchange; 
and were perhaps saved from death by their trans- 
portation hither. 



87 

Others there are, who indulge in a course of rea- 
soning which is exceedingly dangerous, being the 
basis of all fanaticism, whereby general truths 
and abstract maxims are made to afford counte- 
nance to the wildest and most fatal schemes. 
General terms are made to comprehend all parti- 
culars 5 and conclusions are drawn from words 
which are widely at variance from things. Thus, 
much discourse is had concerning the rights of 
man; as though the term man embraced univer- 
sal humanity in all varieties, whether of barbarism 
or improvement ; in all conditions of society ; all 
forms of government ; all habits, manners, reli- 
gions. The word man does indeed denote a large 
species ; the highest in the scale of animal nature ; 
and so far as animal nature is concerned, the term 
is definite enough. For in degrees of bodily 
strength, in appetites, in outward form and pro- 
portion, men differ not greatly. In all reasonings 
concerning physical nature, there need be little 
misapplication of the name. 

But how vague does this word become when 
we speak of men in regard to their moral and 
intellectual attributes; when we treat of their 
rights as intelligent beings, and of their several 
relations, social, civil and religious ! The inAvard 
nature of man is capable of indefinite expansion ; 
for it is capable of communion with a Divine 
nature, from whose inexhaustible fullness it may 



88 

draw without end. In so far as by the legitimate 
culture of the nobler affections and faculties it 
makes improvements,, it holds possession of the 
same by inherent right, to say nothing of the right 
of occupancy. The elements of human know- 
ledge, and greatness, and power, are of unbounded 
diffusion throughout the universal sphere of this 
world's circuit ; these when appropriated by the 
active power of man's intelligence become his 
own by virtue of such appropriation, for they 
thus become parts of himself. In proportion as 
knowledge and power are used for purposes of 
good, in such proportion do rights increase, and 
those only have just claims to rights who are 
competent to use them. There is no good thing 
which a man has not a right to, if he will make 
himself fit to enjoy it properly ; and on the other 
hand, there is no good thing which may not 
prove an evil to him who rashly aspires after it in 
a spirit of presumption or enthusiastic self-exal- 
tation. 

It may be affirmed as an axiom in this country 
that political freedom is a right. How would the 
Turks flourish, think you, under the blessings of a 
free constitution ? In all probability after having 
wearied themselves with slaughtering one another 
they would be willing to render back the privilege 
of cutting off heads into the hands of the grand 
seignor and his viziers, to be exercised at their 



89 

good pleasure. How long would a republic be 
likely to endure among the serfs of the autocrat? 
What benefit might be dispensed by free institu- 
tions throughout the regions of Thibet, among 
the worshippers of the Grand Lama, or among 
the Hottentots at the cape of Good Hope ? I put 
these interrogatories, not that I esteem free insti- 
tutions of little value, but to show how absurd 
will be our reasonings concerning human things, 
if we blindly follow out abstract propositions with- 
out regard to the various particulars, wherein men 
and communities differ so greatly. 

It is the characteristic of fanaticism to be con- 
centrated upon its end, and to see no other means 
except such as promise to be the most speedy. 
Hence wisdom and reflection are banished from its 
councils. Observe the mode of argument which 
prevails among abolitionists : 'that slavery being 
sinful, it ought immediately to cease. Admit- 
ting the premises, the conclusion seems irresistible. 
Sin is opposition to the will of our Creator and 
Supreme Lawgiver. His wisdom and goodness 
are alike infinite, and if slavery be inconsistent with 
his will, it must necessarily be inconsistent with 
the welfare of his creatures. Reason and revela- 
tion moreover assure us that God will punish sin, 
and therefore to contend that it is necessary or 
expedient to continue in sin is to impeach every 
attribute of the Deity, and to brave the vengeance 
9 



92 

vehemently moves my indignation in these at- 
tempts, so common at this day, to fulminate pub- 
lic opinion against particular abuses, in such a 
manner as that its influence comes in the shape 
of intimidation and force. What legitimate power 
has public opinion, or any other kind of opinion, 
except in so far as it is the embodied form of truth 
and virtue? The passions of men, inflamed to 
ungovernable violence, do they lose any thing of 
their evil nature by being transfused among thou- 
sands ? Do the specious names of philanthropy 
and liberty avail any thing towards lessening the 
mischiefs that follow from their perversion? Is 
it the first characteristic of a superior light and 
benevolence to thrust their possessors forward be- 
fore the public eye, and to hurry them into out- 
rages against the rights and feelings of others ? 
Those indeed who hold true principles in right- 
eousness will readily know, that one constituent 
principle of such a spirit is to keep one in his own 
place. Is the truth impotent unless it be con- 
joined with human passions ? Must the wrath of 
man he invoked to ivork out the righteousness of 
God ? Is there nothing terrible in the words 
'vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay 
it?' 

Who knows not that there are evils in every 
community? What then? Are we immaculate, 
that we can assume without impiety the office of 



93 

the Supreme,, and constitute ourselves the agents 
of his justice? Let him ivho is without sin cast 
the first stone It was the characteristic of an 
ancient man, that he was ready to pardon all 
faults except his own. We have lived to see the 
maxim reversed. We grow wise to see the faults 
of others ; we become eloquent to inveigh against 
them ; we are full of zeal to suppress them. We 
learn noble truths, that we may appropriate them 
to our own purposes of pride; we are ever ready 
to invoke the heavenly powers, but it is only to 
make them allies in our strife. 

Is there not a better course established by the all- 
wise Ruler,, and adapted, like all the principles of 
his moral government, to the constitution of the 
human mind? We all indulge in evils; every 
man is addicted to many which he has not him- 
self perceived. It is not in our animal and selfish 
nature to discover these evils, for they are of a 
piece with that nature and consonant with it. To 
the indulgence of our evils there belongs also a 
delight, which diffuses a self-complacency over 
the mind, little disposing it to question, much less 
to remove the cause of so much pleasure. But 
to every evil there is a sting, which sooner or 
later the man will feel; reflection will come; 
truth will shine upon the understanding; it will 
be seen that the end of these things is death. It is 
then that the better feelings and principles within 
9* 



94 

us strive for ascendency over the evil, what 
ever it may be. As this is the course of an indi- 
vidual's experience in reformation, so is it also 
the process which a nation undergoes, when the 
evil is national. That the continuance of slavery 
is an evil, appears to many of us a thing self- 
apparent. We wonder that all do not see it as 
readily ; we are apt to impute wilful obstinacy to 
those who are not as well convinced of it as 
we are. Shall we therefore adopt the course of 
those over-zealous persons, who pour forth abuse 
and vituperation against slaveholders, applying to 
them all manner of odious names ? Shall we 
charge them with horrible crimes and cruelties, 
with a view of enabling them to see their errors, 
and to convince them of our superior righteous- 
ness ? Nay — but if we wished to rivet them in 
what we consider their obstinacy, there could not 
be found a more effectual course. If I believe my 
neighbour is in error, and reprove him in a spirit 
that is not of love, tempered with discretion, the 
light which I convey into his mind will enable 
him to discover, not his own fault, so much as 
mine. My arrogance excites his indignation; and 
the strife that may follow will be but the warring 
of evil passions, how much soever I may assume 
the character of a benevolent adviser, and affect 
to lament the perverseness of the other. Blended 
in the inmost nature of the soul of man, deep 



95 

within his heart of hearts, dwells the inborn feel- 
ing of moral freedom, which is ever alive to the 
slightest impress of external force, and jealous to 
repel it. So keenly sensitive is this life within 
him., that he will not move in the course which 
he believes to be right, if he finds that he is to be 
driven to it. For high and holy purposes was 
this spirit given ; for when once it is deadened, 
man sinks degraded from the dignity of his spe- 
cies. It is the concomitant of his moral responsi- 
bility which would be an absurdity without it. It 
indicates with unerring sensibilty, that in matters 
which concern himself and for which he alone is 
answerable, no foreign influence has a right to 
intermeddle. In unison with this, upon the basis 
-of his own individuality rests the structure of 
every man's character. He ought to consider 
himself as occupying a place in the world which 
no other man could fill, whether the same be 
humble or exalted, as a being capable, and there- 
fore intended, to set forth some peculiar manifes- 
tation of wisdom and goodness, out of the infinite 
variety of aspects which those heavenly emana- 
tions may present. All elements therefore which 
he imbibes, whether of thought or of feeling ,• no 
matter how derived whether from science, from 
social life, from observation, or from experience, 
all will receive, if he be true to himself, a hue and 
complexion analogous to the peculiar constitution 



96 

of his being. How clearly does nature illustrate 
this great truth throughout all her several species 
of beasts, of birds, of plants, and of minerals, 
whereof each being directed by no will save that of 
Providence, grows up in its own order, each after 
its kind. The cowslip and the lily spring up side 
by side in the same meadow ; the like elements of 
moisture, of warmth, of air, and of soil, supply 
nourishment to both; yet each absorbs and assimi- 
lates according to its own nature, and no art of 
man can make the one assume the complexion of 
the other. How plainly is the same thing indi- 
cated in the endless variety of the human counte- 
nance ! Our several features are in general simi- 
lar, yet of the myriads of human creatures that 
now live, or that have ever lived, where might 
you find two faces precisely alike? or two voices? 
What does this denote but that every man has a 
special individuality, whereby he is constituted 
one integer; one unit, that amid the community 
of interests and feelings that bring us together as 
social beings, there is yet in the moral and intel- 
lectual universe of this vast creation, one portion 
at least whereof he is king — a king subject to law, 
but possessed of an awful prerogative, being noth- 
ing less than of misery and of happiness, of life 
and of death. With the internal concerns of this 
kingdom no foreign power has a right to interfere; 
still less has the legitimate ruler a ri<*ht to abdi- 



97 

eate his sovereignty. Is not this same principle 
set forth continually in the Divine administration 
towards man, wherein force has no part; wherein 
the attribute of Omnipotence interposes not, and 
truth itself, tf the sword of the spirit,' exerts no 
power except as it is received voluntarily into the 
human mind. In the business of our own refor- 
mation each must act for himself and not for 
another; the truth which is to enlighten will come 
in its own most proper way, adapted to the cir- 
cumstances and condition of him who is to profit 
by it ; and the same spirit which imparts truth to 
discover to us our errors, will not be wanting to 
aid us in our efforts to put them away. It is 
therefore no small matter to know how far our 
interference in another's concerns may go hand 
in hand with duty, and to mark the line where 
friendly solicitude ends, and where persecution 
begins. It is impossible for words to define it; 
the heart that is alive with love to God and man, 
alone can know it. 

What then? Have we not a right to speak our 
sentiments? Indubitably. But shall we make a 
vaunt of it in a spirit of bravado? Shall we 
declare our opinions on delicate matters to all the 
world, when such utterance does no good, merely 
to show that we possess the right, and are not 
afraid to use it? But is it not our duty to pro- 
claim what we believe to be the truth? It is, 



98 

indeed, to proclaim it at proper times, to such as 
are willing to receive it, and who are in a condi- 
tion to profit by it. But shall we organize socie- 
ties, raise money, establish newspapers, fill the 
whole country with excitement, by means of 
inflammatory harangues and publications in order 
to convince our neighbours of the truth, when in 
charity we might suppose them to be as capable 
as we, to discover it for themselves ; to say noth- 
ing of their sacred right to manage their own 
affairs in the way that shall suit them best. Per- 
haps, if we would examine the nature of this zeal 
which is consuming us, we should find that other 
passions were concerned, besides a love of truth, 
and a sincere desire for others' welfare. 

But if this impulse to declare the truth be, 
indeed, of such holy imperativeness within us, it 
is surely not inconsistent with its harmony to seek 
a situation, wherein we may obey it legitimately. 
Let him then, who is called to be an apostle of 
freedom in this matter, introduce himself into a 
community where slavery exists; let him acquire 
citizenship ; then will he be authorized to take 
part in the public affairs, both by voting and by 
declaring his sentiments on all public measures. 
He may recommend whatever he thinks may be 
for the good of the state ; he will be on a footing 
with the citizens around him, having something at 
stake. How happens it, that the most zealous 



99 

advocates of the immediate emancipation of slaves 
are to be found in states where there are no slaves 
to be emancipated? 

I take it upon myself to say, that the people of 
the south have manifested no backwardness in 
relation to the question of domestic slavery. The 
time was not long ago, when this subject was dis- 
cussed with freedom throughout the southern states. 
It was becoming a matter of anxious solicitude ; 
for it concerned them dearly. The process of 
effectual reformation was going on in its legiti- 
mate way; truth was coming to the minds of the 
reflecting in the light of their own experience, and 
was operating upon the unforced will. The evil 
of slavery was generally acknowledged ; for I am 
persuaded that the sentiments which were declar- 
ed some time ago, by Gov. McDuffie, of South 
Carolina, were not held then by the intelligent 
portion of the southern people. Most of the 
prominent men in the board of the Colonization 
Society were gentlemen of influence from southern 
states. Were they not sincere ? Who shall 
impeach the integrity of those high-minded and 
honourable men ? A full avowal of the sentiment 
was made by Mr. Clay, at a meeting of the Ken- 
tucky Colonization Society, not long ago. Let 
the life of this great man — a life full of noble and 
consistent actions— speak for the purity of his 
motives. It was not longer ago, than 1831 or '32 



100 

when the legislature of Virginia, deliberated on 
the subject in no superficial manner; and there 
were not wanting many votes to carry out a per- 
manent system for the amelioration, if not the 
final removal of slavery within that state. 

It is true these symptoms have now disappear- 
ed. Where shall we look for the cause? I can 
find it no where, but in the violence and misguided 
zeal of those persons, who having wandered out 
of their sphere, have carried confusion whereso- 
ever the influence of their aberrations has extend- 
ed. They declaim in a vague manner concerning 
the rights of man; they utter abstract truths, 
which, general and indefinite, may by a rash 
application produce the most dangerous results ; 
they assume to themselves the name of philan- 
thropists, under which, any passions may be 
indulged, which a corrupt heart may choose to 
cherish. They reiterate the principle, that slavery 
is wrong ; that it should be immediately abolished ; 
that to do right is our duty, whatever may be the 
sacrifice ; that consequences must be left to take 
care of themselves. Those maxims mislead by 
the semblance of truth which they carry with 
them ; for there is not one of them which is not 
proper in its place. But with regard to general 
truths, it must be observed, that however immuta- 
ble they may be in their own nature, it is in the 
power of human passions to give them almost 



101 

any hue, by blending therewith the subtle essence 
of a hidden affection, good or evil. When a spirit 
of enthusiastic self-exaltation has taken possession 
of a man's mind, there is no end to the perversion 
of the holiest truths. The light of the sun is in 
essence always the same ; yet how infinite the 
hues and aspects it assumes according to the 
quality of its recipient ! It sparkles in the dia- 
mond, shines translucent in the pearl, and appears 
of a dull colour in the common stone. The genial 
warmth of the same sun quickens life throughout 
universal nature ; imparts vigour to the growing 
plant; fragrance to the flower, and sweetness to 
fruits; but in some substances it breeds only cor- 
ruption, giving birth to worms and creeping things. 
How admirably may the first emblem illustrate 
the nature of truth ! How well does the latter set 
forth the quality of love! In the harmonious 
blending of both, as nature displays it in the beams 
of the sun, which give forth the mingled blessings 
of light and heat, how beautifully may we see 
pourtrayed the union, which the order of Heaven 
has established between benevolence and know- 
ledge. What God hath joined together, let not 
man put asunder. 

When human things are purged of all evil ; 

when the social institutions are purified from 

every taint; then may abstract truths find perfect 

reception and absolute confirmation in (he world. 

10 



102 

But the progress towards this consummation must 
be gradual. Truths are to be tempered in their 
application, not altered in their nature ; according 
to the maxim : Quicquid recipitur, recipitur ad 
modum recipientis. It was a wise saying of Solon, 
who upon being asked, if he had given the best 
laws to the Athenians, replied, f No; but the best 
that they were fitted to receive.' Ill health is in 
physical nature, what evil is in moral nature. A 
man who is diseased, has in some way departed 
from the laws of his bodily system ; or has receiv- 
ed his malady by hereditary transmission ; in 
either of which cases, the analogy with moral evil 
is perfect. Who does not know that the remedies, 
which are to restore him to health, must be 
adapted, modified, tempered, according to all the 
symptoms, circumstances and conditions of the 
disease? When the distemper is of a chronic 
nature, who does not know that the return to 
health must be gradual in proportion as the 
growth of the disease has been slow? 

Concerning the doing of right at whatever sacri- 
fice I have also to say, that when the sacrifices 
which are involved by the doing of what one be- 
lieves to be right, are entirely a man's own, there 
is no doubt but he acts well, in obeying this great 
truth to any extent that his conscience may direct. 
He alone has the control of his own self-govern- 
ment, and with him dwells the responsibility of 



103 

his doings. But, unfortunately, men are most 
disposed to involve sacrifices by following out ab- 
stract maxims of right, when those sacrifices fall 
upon others. It is easy to gain credit for great 
devotion to principle at the expense of our neigh- 
bours ; especially when, in reality, we have little 
real love for their welfare. But I have already 
alluded to a mode by which the sincerity of these 
philanthropists may be evinced, who are so anx- 
ious to do right at all sacrifices. Let them propose 
their plans in a slave-holding state, having first 
become citizens thereof; then will they at least 
deserve praise for the purity of their motives, 
whatever may be thought of the wisdom of their 
policy. 

I have said that the indisposition of the southern 
people towards taking any measures in regard to 
domestic slavery, is owing to the imprudence and 
over-zealous interference of abolitionists, in mat- 
ters which little concerned them. I wish not to 
misrepresent these persons in any particular. But 
what has been their course ? Let it be told in the 
words of Dr. Channing. 'They have fallen, 1 says 
he, 'into the common error of enthusiasts, that of 
exaggerating their object, of feeling as if no evil 
existed but that which they opposed, and as if no 
guilt could be compared with that of countenanc- 
ing or upholding it The tone of their newspa- 
pers, as far as I have seen them, has often been 



104 

fierce, bitter, abusive. Their imaginations have 
fed too much on pictures of the cruelty to which 
the slave is exposed, till not a few have probably- 
conceived of his abode as perpetually resounding 
with the lash and ringing with shrieks of agony.'* 
Again : 'The abolitionists sent forth their orators, 
some of them transported with a fiery zeal, to 
sound the alarm against slavery through the land, 
to gather together young, old, pupils from schools, 
females hardly arrived at years of discretion, the 
ignorant, the excitable, the impetuous, and orga- 
nize these into associations for the battle against 
oppression. They preached their doctrines to the 
coloured people, and collected these into their 
societies. To this mixed and excitable multitude, 
appeals were made in the piercing tones of pas- 
sion ; and slaveholders were held up as monsters 
of cruelty and crime.'f 

Hear the result; speaking of this course, he 
says : 'From the beginning it created alarm in the 
considerate, and strengthened the sympathies of 
the free states with the slaveholder. It made 
converts of a few individuals, but alienated multi- 
tudes. It has stirred up bitter passions and a 
fierce fanaticism, which have shut every ear and 
every heart against its arguments and persuasions. 
These effects are the more to be deplored, because 
the hope of freedom to the slave lies chiefly in the 

* Charming on Slavery, p. 153. f lb. p. 155. 



105 

dispositions of his master. The abolitionist pro- 
posed indeed to convert the slaveholders ; and for 
this purpose he approached them with vitupera- 
tion, and exhausted on them the vocabulary of 
abuse! And he has reaped as he sowed. His 
vehement pleadings for the slave have been an- 
swered by wilder ones from the master ; and what 
is worse, deliberate defences of slavery have been 
sent forth in the spirit of the dark ages, and in 
defiance of the moral convictions and feelings of 
trie christian and civilized world. 7 

Such has been the course of these men who 
proclaim themselves the champions of human 
freedom ; who insist upon principles with a child- 
ish intemperance of passion, which shows that 
they do not understand principles; who advocate 
the cause of humanity with a spirit of vindictive- 
ness which belies their professions ; who pretend 
to uphold the rights of man, yet trample without 
scruple upon the rights of their fellow-citizens. 
These are the persons who would interfere in the 
affairs of wiser men than themselves; who would 
direct the course of legislation to sovereign states, 
having not yet learned the first principles of self- 
government over their own conduct; who in the 
arrogance of self-exaltation, conceiving them- 
selves to be possessed of all wisdom and all purity, 
are kindly disposed with congenial charity to bring 
ruin upon men in order to befriend them. 
10* 



106 

T wish these sayings to be applied, not to the 
moderate and well-meaning, who have unfortu- 
nately adopted the creed of abolitionists, in the 
belief that no other course was practicable for the 
removal of a great evil. There are a few zealots 
who have been the busy agents of strife* these 
are the men who should be marked as unworthy 
of trust, and dangerous; men who pervert truths, 
and who seek to lend the countenance of right to 
measures which will be found to spring from their 
own passions. The evil one is never so much to 
be dreaded as when he makes his appearance in 
the form of an angel of light. It is the part of all 
considerate persons to try the spirits ; keeping in 
view at the same time, that the more comprehen- 
sive the principle, the more dangerous may be a 
rash application of it. 

After an attentive perusal of Dr. Channing's 
book, I am not certain whether he intends to 
encourage an amalgamation of the two races, as a 
means of elevating the blacks to that equality 
which he thinks them entitled to. He must either 
mean to recommend this course; or his notions 
are of a like nature with those of Mr. Jay,- who 
insists upon political equality, but not social. In 
view of either of these suppositions, I am per- 
suaded, that Dr. Channing, has been lending the 
sanction of his name and the use of his great 
abilities to the propagation of doctrines which are 



107 

both absurd and dangerous. The first condition 
is not to be thought of; the second is impossible. 
There is allusion made by Dr. Channing to a 
spurious sort of amalgamation that is now going 
on between the two races. This is one of the 
evils of slavery, and not the least to be lamented. 
It is one of the miserable consequences of that 
enervation of character, of that looseness of morals, 
of that licentiousness, which ever creeps in where 
slavery, long continued in a society, invites to 
indolence and unnerves the firmness of the man- 
lier virtues. But let no hasty conclusions be 
drawn from this, to indicate a ready disposition 
towards amalgamation between whites and an 
emancipated community of blacks. This kind 
of intercourse springs not from affection, such as 
would draw equals together into conjugal union. 
It is the mere gratification of sensuality, of the 
lowest kind of lust, and takes place only when 
the unhappy subject is the instrument and the 
property of another. It will continue as long as 
slavery continues, and will increase in proportion 
to the corruption of manners. 

But when once a decree of general emancipa- 
tion has gone forth, the blacks being now thrown 
upon self-action, the two races will stand apart. 
There can be no union of affection ; there will 
cease to be any of lust. Because, it is evident, 
that this mongrel intercourse is now founded upon 



108 

one sort of relations ; unlike ordinary concubinage 
between parties of the same race, it would cease 
with the existence of those relations. For although 
it may continue while one party may entertain 
contempt for the other, as it is indeed founded 
thereupon, it cannot remain when hatred becomes 
an ingredient of the feeling between them. It 
would be well if the southern people kept this 
truth in mind : that so long as slavery continues 
among them in its present aspect, so long are they 
the promoters of that very amalgamation from the 
idea of which they revolt with disgust. 

When Mr. Burke, impressed with horror at the 
fearful excesses to which the French revolu- 
tionists were hurried by a blind adherence to ab- 
stract doctrines, had in the strength of firm prin- 
ciple voluntarily sacrificed the friendship of a 
great man, he exclaimed with heart-felt indigna- 
tion : 'There is something in this cursed French 
revolution that envenoms every thing!' One 
would suppose, that the eloquent expostulations 
of this far-seeing statesman might have rendered 
men cautious in giving way to dazzling specula- 
tions, engendered by fancy out of the elements of 
truths commingled with evil passions ; especially, 
when such expostulations were given, not as mere 
generalized maxims, vented in the heat of passion, 
or moulded in the coldness of speculation ; but as 



sound truths, which received confirmation aim 

•?.: the :;::::e:: :: thei: *:.::-.: iz :e 

T:r htrribie ftttv.hsi:::- c: the Fret:::: r.atiin: 
have hardly ye: subside: .//: 3. state :: :s 

quiescence : yet as though we were to be made 
vrise by l: expe::eu:e except :cr :-\t.---t a;: 
hearing even now the same kind of harangui: _. 



L-.r ^_-_.T"r....._^...^..j it ■ r : „^r_. 


'general max- 


its, which are to be enforced in 


i their aaiced- 


ness witattit rerard :: ::nditi:t:s : 




nay, without regard to the inevitab 


le ruin which 


rnttst tbii:~ tn-:re:::r:i. Ai :c-e 


siderati: ns cf 


prudence are to be silenced by soi 


ne such 


method as this : slavery is sin: all 


: _ " 


mediately to cease; he that teouL 




r^ r .ts against God, and is bra. _ 


:"::'_•: : - 


--::::. Dies the tast : :t 


iveimpui 


humanity and common sense revolt 


at the thought 


of what consequences must iss 


::- 


Th.e : : = "-r is : 


f : ice are re- 






C . '. •- it! 1 i 


! What hor- 


rible trit What abominable 


tution of 



holy truths,, to subserve the foul purp: self- 

ted, self-rightegus fanaticism ! If any thing 
than the highest interests of life and prop 
e involved, how ridicule id be this 

sole amption of judicial authority over a 

whole people: lamenti : which 



110 

thus enforces them to be severe; making lachry- 
mose faces of pity and tender sympathy, while 
they are about to assume the heroic magnanimity 
of Brutus, pronouncing sentence upon his own 
blood ; all going to show the noble sacrifice which 
they are making at the call of duty! Oh, shade 
of Polonius, what methodical madness ! 

What a magnanimous sacrifice is this which is 
to be made at the expense of others ! How pure, 
Row disinterested, how holy are these efforts to 
emancipate the captive, when the ruin, the havoc 
and horror that must follow such attempts, made 
in such a spirit, are to be spread throughout the 
cities, and towns, and hamlets, and domestic 
hearths of our countrymen at some distance re- 
moved, but in which the philanthropic agents are 
to suffer no part? 

What think you 'twas set up 
The Greek and Roman name in such a lustre, 
But doing right in stern despite to nature, 
Shutting their ears to all her little cries, 
When great, august, and godlike justice called ! 

The only difference between the Roman great- 
ness, and that which these modern heroes are 
ambitious to attain, lies in tfyis; that the noble 
spirits of antiquity harkened to the call of godlike 
justice, when themselves were to be the sacrifices, 
f as he of Carthage, an immortal name,' whereas, 



Hi 

our aspirants are most heroic when others are to 
be the victims. 

I reiterate what was before asserted that the 
people of the south have shown no extraordinary- 
backwardness in considering the matter of domes- 
tic slavery, which being an institution of their 
own, they alone were chiefly interested in consi- 
dering. They were beginning to perceive the 
evil of slavery precisely in the manner in which 
any evil is perceived, by its consequences upon 
themselves. For the analogy is perfect in this 
particular, between a nation and an individual. 
We are not disposed to see evil in that which 
ministers to our delight or to our interest, until by 
its effects we are made to perceive, that it is not 
in harmony with our happiness ; that its ultimate 
issue will be ruinous. Upon this discovery tire 
moral principles are not slow in asserting their 
supremacy ; and in a man, or in a community, if 
the evil be national, where any redeeming power 
yet remains in its integrity, reformation will begin, 
and it will continue to advance precisely in pro- 
portion as the mind receives light, and as the cir- 
cumstances of the case will admit the application 
of truths. But the great truth cannot be too often 
remembered, that this is the work of the indivi- 
dual ; whether the individual be a man or a nation. 
Whatever influence may come from abroad, it 
should come in such shape of candour or affec- 



112 

tionate sympathy, as that the reception of it shall 
be voluntary. But let no arrogant self-superiority, 
no assumed solicitude of mawkish compassion, no 
denunciations of zeal, claiming to be holy, dare 
intrude upon the sacred province of human free 
agency, to violate those high prerogatives which 
omnipotence will not infringe even to shield re- 
sponsible agents from destruction. For in the 
awful dignity of moral existence the touch of vio- 
lence to this spirit of being is little less than death. 
But how entirely is all this overbearing anxiety 
a work of supererogation? Are there not men of 
good hearts and intelligent minds among the peo- 
ple of the slave-holding states ? Who doubts that 
the south contains within itself all the elements 
that are necessary to self-redemption from any 
evils into which the inadvertence of former gene- 
rations have brought it? Not only has a proper 
disposition been manifested by the wise and good 
of the southern people towards considering the 
subject of domestic slavery ; but, unlike the blind 
agitations which are often the premonitory tokens 
of a coming reformation, their efforts seem to 
have been fortunate in an uncommon degree, as it 
respects the direction which their plans have 
taken. They have hit upon the principle, which 
I make bold to affirm, is the only principle, upon 
which any safe and effectual system can be de- 
vised of ultimately delivering this country from 



113 

the evil of slavery, with security at once to both 
races, and with any prospect of final good to the 
blacks. I do not say that the first organization of 
the Colonization Society was adapted to this end. 
I believe it was not. It must be the work of each 
state separately, after the manner of Maryland — a 
state which has the honour of taking the second 
step in the gradual progress of this great work. 

I am willing, my dear sir, to believe that in the 
conception of this scheme, there is to be seen the 
germ of a future growth of hit tided wisdom and 
benevolence, which shall be the glory of this coun- 
try and of the age. Is it objected that no provi- 
sion is made for the emancipation of slaves ? Let 
not impatience outrun the order of things. Every 
work must have a beginning, whether the design 
be great or small, and perfection is not usually 
the characteristic of beginnings. I had designed 
to dwell at large upon the plan and prospects of 
African colonization, but, to tell the truth, I am 
wearied with writing, as I fear you will be with 
reading, so long a letter; although I have broken 
J he epistle into chapters for the convenience of rest- 
ing places. If my intention hold, and your pa- 
tience be not exhausted, I will treat of those topics 
in a future letter. I shall then briefly notice coloni- 
zation ; that it is no new or untried system, but 
that it has been practised continually in all ages of 
the world, since the days of Noah : that colonies 
11 



114 

have rrciicraiiy outstripped the parent country, a.- 
may be illustrated by numerous examples in history, 
both ancient and modern. It would be worth 
while for some competent man to write a book on 
this particular view ; showing how transplantation 
operates to change the character, by placing men 
in situations, wherein the personal responsibility 
of each is directly felt, and every one is brought 
to rely upon his own exertions. 1 shall consider 
African colonization, particularly ; how it differs 
from all other examples of colonization in many 
particulars, all of which are to its advantage; how 
the special direction of Providence seems manifest 
in making the captivity of the negroes in this 
country the means of introducing knowledge and 
civilization into Africa, which in the ordinary 
course of human things, would hardly gain admit- 
tance in any other manner. 

I am sure it is not a vain imagination that fills 
my mind, when I view in prospect, the future 
glory of this great undertaking. 1 found my prog- 
nostications upon the nobleness of the principles 
which are at its basis. There have been colonies 
planted for purposes of trade, as those of the Dutch 
in the East fndies, and of the English at the Cape 
of Good Hope ; there have been settlements made 
in foreign parts by reason of violence and persecu- 
tion at home ; or in avaricious pursuits of gold ; or 
to serve as receptacles for the emptying of domes- 



115 

tic jails; but never before in the history of human 
kind has benevolence thus sought to propagate 
itself by the deliverance of captives; by the raising 
up of the oppressed; by the nurture and protec- 
tion of the unfriended. I sincerely hope, that the 
excellent spirit which has quickened this great 
system into birth, may brood over its infancy ; 
may continue to direct its unfolding energies ; majr 
never depart from it; but may remain henceforth 
to insure a consummation which shall be worthy 
of such a beginning. 

With much esteem, I remain, 

Dear sir^ yours, &,c, 



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